Week in review – science edition

by Judith Curry

A few things that caught my eye this past week.

In the news

Good news for reefs: How corals could survive a warming planet. Corals evolved with CO2 levels 18X higher than present [link]

Sea temperatures have cooled since Pleistocene when CO2 levels ~same as today [link]

Giant earthquakes are shaking Greenland – and scientists just figured out the disturbing reason why [link]

New paper finds “Modern solar maximum forced late 20th century Greenland cooling” [link]

Weak El Niños and La Niñas Come and Go from NOAA’s Oceanic NINO Index (ONI) with Each SST data set revision [link]

Solar minimum could bring cold winters to Europe and US, but would not hold off climate change: [link]

Massive nitrous oxide emissions from the tropical South Pacific Ocean [link]

 

New results show unambiguously that the Antarctic changes happen after the rapid temperature changes in Greenland.  The researchers documented 18 abrupt climate events during the past 68,000 years [link]

Scientists call for rethink in way we seek to understand how #ClimateChange affects extreme weather [link]

The Hubbard Glacier defies ‘climate change’ – continues to grow [link]

3000 year record of North Atlantic Oscillation from new cave study [link]

The Atlantic ‘conveyor belt’ and climate: 10 years of the RAPID project [link]

Ed Hawkins: Global temperature changes occur against a background of natural variability | Discussing Karl et al.: [link]

Oh Noes! Computer model says society will collapse by 2040 due to catastrophic food shortages [link]

About science

Very interesting example of a scientist advocating for policy: David Nutt’s keynote talk at Circling the Square on drug & alcohol policy now available in video format. [link]

This is interesting and entertaining: Who Let The Climatedogs Out? Unleashing Creative Climate Communication [link]   …

Why you should reconsider everything you thought you knew about evolution: [link]

Science assessments and research integrity: reconcilable or antagonistic? [link]

New publications

“On quantifying the climate of the nonautonomous Lorenz-63 model”, Chaos 25, 043103 (2015) [link]

Air temperature and death rates in the continental U.S. 1968–2013. Climate 2015; 3: 435-441. [link]

Consensus police

Do you recall in a previous week in review, when Greg Laden did a blog post on the fact that I ‘favorited’ a tweet written by Mark Steyn that criticized Mann?  If you are unfamiliar with twitter, clicking favorite on a tweet is essentially a bookmarking function, allowing you to go back and read the link later.

Well now Laden is criticizing the ‘fans’ of Revkin who comment at dot earth [link].

Revkin writes [link]: “Greg Laden, who writes a spirited global warming blog, published a rather biting critique of my approach to blogging and climate science a few days ago.”
” In an update, Laden doubles down, concluding that I am a “denialist.””
“[Greg] Laden labels me a “denialist” by implying that I question both the reality of greenhouse-driven climate change and its severity…”

Greg Laden post: Mark Steyn’s Newest Attack On Michael Mann And The Hockey Stick [link]

Lunacy.

 

193 responses to “Week in review – science edition

  1. “Solar minimum could bring cold winters to Europe and US, but would not hold off climate change.” But, are we looking out to 2060?

    • Well it’s interesting to read thee is a consensus of expert scientists who have reviewed Mann’s hockey stick found his stats methods suboptimal but say it’s still great stuff. No doubt Mann found a nice collection of expert peers to review his material stuff. I wonder what will happen when Steyn’s new book comes out. Can Mann sue him twice?

    • Wagathon,

      It is a real pain, the way that rotten climate keeps changing, isn’t it?

      Solar minima, solar maxima, more CO2, less CO2, things keep changing. Maybe we should seek advice from a climatologist, or failing that, a proctologist.

  2. Might the reduction in the AMOC be tied to the process of switching from the warm phase AMO to the cold phase AMO?

    • Yes I believe this is so. Barents Sea temperatures support this by oscillating closely with the AMO.

    • There is not going to be a cold phase of the AMO. It’s one and done.

      • Whistling past the graveyard.

      • atlantic-entering-cool-phase-will-change-world-s-weather

        There are articles claiming the AMO is going cool.

        Well… I don’t know much about the AMO but there is an opportunity to see who is the better climate predictor. When is the AMO going cool?

        Make your prediction now.

      • About 5 years ago, I predicted AMO would shift to neg phase 2020-2025. It is currently making a negative dip; remains to be seen if this portends a shift to cool phase, or is just a blip.

      • curryja | June 27, 2015 at 7:26 pm |
        About 5 years ago, I predicted AMO would shift to neg phase 2020-2025.

        I was not expecting a “gold standard” response.

        I am not well informed about the AMO and appreciate the insight.

        Thank you.

  3. Sorry Wagathon I have no idea how that ended up being a reply o your post.

  4. “Air temperature and death rates in the continental U.S. 1968–2013. Climate 2015; 3: 435-441. [link]’

    What a bummer. Declining death rates in a warming environment over 45 years.

    What is even worse, at least according to the National Center for Health Statistics study of July 2014 representing 5 years of data, the death rate from cold is two time that of warm; while the death rate from very bad weather, tornados, floods, hurricanes, you name it, is only 6% of the total weather related deaths which add up to a total of 2000 per year.

    http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nhsr/nhsr076.pdf

    Listen Mr. Obama, severe weather causes 120 US deaths a year from very bad weather. Now tell me again about the catastrophe that lies around the corner from emissions of CO2. Making energy more expensive for cooling in the summer and heating in the winter is really what kind of policy?

    Maybe the em-phaa-sis is on the wrong sy-laa-ble, you know what I mean?

    • ‘ Out, out brief candle! ‘

      • And, as MacBeth’s soliloquy reflects his view of life’s insignificance:

        “Days on this earth are short, a “brief candle” and an ignorant march towards a fruitless demise, “lighted fools. . . to dusty death.” A person’s life is so insubstantial that it is comparable to an actor who fills minor roles in an absurd play.”

        I wonder if Obama, set to meet MacDuff, prefers an end fraught with mis-perceptions than rectifying some deeper flaws in his beliefs.

    • It doesn’t have to kill people to be bad.

  5. “These fans feel their views are substantiated by what they read in Revkin’s New York Times column, Dot Earth. They seem to be Libertarian, anti-environment, anti-science, pro-fossil fuel, and frankly, anti-green. Not just one or two of Andrew Revkin’s fans, but a bunch — with numbers possibly growing — are of this mind, and this is very disturbing. If we had the technology to transport these fans back in time and put them in a small room with Andy Revkin back in the days of the Bush administration, the room would melt down. They would not be his fans, and he would be shocked to be told that some day they will be.” http://scienceblogs.com/gregladen/2015/06/23/the-new-andrew-revkin-fan/
    Reminds me of another blog. Anti, Pro and the adjective-less Libertarians. People not like Laden.
    “The point I made in this (original) blog post is that Andy Revkin operates a forum that caters to a middle ground that has disappeared, and that feeding activity in this middle ground is counter-productive, demanding a cost we can’t afford to pay.” – Laden

    Laden sees it as the lower of the 3 curves. Revkin and Curry shouldn’t be able to be there. It’s unstable there. They may fall into denier land. A way to solve the problem is to move up to the middle of the 3 curves and then the top most curve. The real present situation might be we already are at the top most curve, with many people expanding a lot of effort to stay on both the left and right upward slopes and avoid the middle. The shape of the curve is controlled by something. Laden seems to in the smallest way make it more of a peak in the middle. Curry, a pool.

  6. Thanks for the information, Judith. And thank you for changing the subject. Name calling and/or ad hominem attacks are never very pretty!

  7. I don’t know how knowing what is causing greenlands disappearance could be considered ‘good news’.

    • It’s kind of like the good news it is when you see the train coming to hit you, as opposed to being blind to it. Some people might take action immediately. Others not until they see the train approaching more clearly.

      • In this case though how does one get off the tracks?

      • It is just the most visible of several trains, some of which we are still blind to, but all resulting from the same cause.

      • The reporting climate science seems to indicate there are two trains coming?

      • If I didn’t know better I’d think JC has turned into an alamist. I’ve read about 10 of these links and find myself paranoiac and pessimistic. Maybe someone sabatoged her blog? :-)

      • ordvic, it is called the truth. You can’t hide from it here. Try WUWT if it makes you uncomfortable. Things like Greenland are the canaries in the coalmine that tell us that things are going wrong, and we should not ignore the signals.

      • It does appear that way.

      • Are we sure the train isn’t backing up?

      • Jim D:
        “Things like Greenland are the canaries in the coalmine that tell us that things are going wrong, and we should not ignore the signals.”
        Not sure it’s a canary about to expire. More likely its ice is an active, granted slow, but powerful and sustained player. We are looking for things that fall apart, ice sheets and sea ice. Not so much a disassembling as a rearrangement. Maybe for logical reasons.
        ““There is probably some kind of threshold in the system – say, in the salinity of the surface ocean – that triggers temperature reversals…”
        http://www.reportingclimatescience.com/news-stories/article/ice-cores-show-climate-lag-between-hemispheres.html
        If we assume the ice sheet is losing mass, the oceans get less saline near Greenland. That would make the Greenland ice sheet less a victim and more of a signaler as suggested above. As happened before possibly.

      • Ragnaar, so if Antarctica is melting at the same time as Greenland, we would just be screwed, right?

      • JimD

        I just posted this on another thread but it seems to be just as relevant here;

        Here is an article from 1932 referencing warming events 20 years previously.

        —- —– —–
        “This 1932 article demonstrates that, unlike the modern era, the warming affected both poles whilst highlighting the continued retreat of the glaciers generally and in Greenland and Alaska specifically;

        http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/23150667?searchTerm=greenland%20%20melting&searchLimits=

        “Some great world change is taking place on the Antarctic Continent. Its glaciers are shrinking. L.A. Bernacchi, who visited the South Polar land 30 years ago, says that the Great Ice Barrier which fronts the continent with a wall of ice for 250 miles has receded at least 30 miles since it was first seen and surveyed. Sir James Ross…on the earliest Antarctic expedition of the nineteenth century, and those who followed him, left clear descriptions of this tremendous ice frontage and its position. It was a cliff 150ft. high and 1000ft. thick. But now it appears to be continuing its century-long process of shrinking; and that process may have been going on for centuries. It might imply, unless it is offset by some increase of ice in another less explored part of the Antarctic, that the climate of the South Pole is changing and becoming warmer. The shrinkage of the Alpine glaciers of Europe is a well-known and carefully measured fact. Professor Buchanan, of Edinburgh, drew attention to it twenty years ago, and showed from old and accurate drawings of (many) that they were retreating rapidly. This led to the continuous measurement of the Swiss glaciers (and) examination of other glaciers of the Northern Hemisphere, Greenland, Alaska, and elsewhere. Prom these measurements many geologists concluded that the northern part of the globe was still recovering from the last of its Ice Ages, of which the more southerly of its glaciers in Europe were a relic. If all the glaciers of the Southern Hemisphere as well as those of the Northern are shrinking, the geologists would have a new problem to examine. It would be whether, instead of areas of cold and ice having shifted on the earth, the whole globe is growing warmer. Even if that could be shown the change might prove to be temporary

        —– —– —–
        tonyb

      • Don Monfort

        Tony, according to yimmy, subsequent adjustments to various data sets have proven that those observations were erroneous.

      • Don

        Yes, observations such as these need to be robustly adjusted, rewritten and released back into the community with the note that anything prior to 1950 is unreliable.

        Tonyb

      • Indeed, Antarctica should be shrinking on longer time scales due to the Milankovitch cycle where the southern summer is now near perihelion. For the same reason, Greenland and Arctic sea ice should be growing in a continuation of the MWP-LIA trend, but that part is not happening. Just the opposite. We can only wonder why.

      • Steven Mosher

        Don

        Dont you know that WUWT has proven that the shrinking arctic is NOT due to warming.!!!

        So, here we have a newspaper clipping.

        thats it. a clipping.

        no data. no metadata. no way of checking it. did the guy measure the ice or just estimate it? where are his error bars? was it just a calibrated eyeball?

        could be warming caused the change, could be winds, could be soot, could be anything… unicorns… maybe a strange effect of the sun we dont understand.

        being a arm chair skeptic is so much fun.

      • Mosh

        If you don’t like newspaper clippings it’s a good job we have got dozens of scientific papers written by the Hansens of their day

        —– ——-
        “During the Persey cruise in 1934 Zubov noticed that the glaciers of Jan-Mayen and Spitsbergen were considerably reduced, relative to their sizes adduced in British sailing directions of 1911. Retreat of glaciers was observed also at Spitsbergen, Franz-Joseph Land (Russia), and Novaya Zemlya (Russia). The ice bridges between some of Franz-Joseph islands melted.
        Alman explored the glaciers of Spitsbergen in 1934 and came to the conclusion that they were melting. The observations of 1935–1938 showed that Iceland glaciers were melting too.”
        —— ——

        Tonyb

      • Mosh

        By the way, as you don’t seem to now who Louis bernacchi was and dismissed his comments as just a newspaper clipping here is some background on him. A physicist and illustrats explorer he was a contemporary of Scott

        https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Louis_Bernacchi

        Tonyb

      • Don Monfort

        “Dont you know that WUWT has proven that the shrinking arctic is NOT due to warming.!!!’

        I haven’t seen that. Is it one of Willis’s discoveries? Is it those pesky ice munching unicorns?

      • Steven Mosher

        “If you don’t like newspaper clippings it’s a good job we have got dozens of scientific papers written by the Hansens of their day”

        Good. I will treat them the same way I treated hansen.

        1. Supply data and code please, otherwise I dont have the time.
        2. I don’t buy appeals to authority,
        3. Dozens of papers can be wrong, consensus isnt science.

      • Steven Mosher

        Tony

        Citing a quote in a clipping
        and then appealing to Wikipedia?

        Skepticism at its best!!!

        Wikipedia no less.

        Not convinceed. I’m like Jim cripwell. I want real measurements!
        orginal files
        official copies!

      • Mosh

        The wiki article was well written and informative. However there are dozens of others like this one.

        http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/bernacchi-louis-charles-5219

        The guy can’t be dismissed as just a character in some yellowing newspaper clipping. . Alman And zubov were also respected scientists. There are lots more who exist outside of newspaper clippings.

        Tonyb

      • Mosh

        You talking about good old jim cripwell then reminded me of dear max anacker. I see that he died just over a year ago on June 5th. They are both sadly missed.

        Tonyb

      • And some might recognize the fact they are standing on the sidewalk, with zero chance of the train hitting them.

    • ordvic

      Take your meds.

      Judith is simply posting stuff she finds. That some of it is so over the top stup*d doesn’t mean she believes it to be true.

      • I post stuff that people are talking about on twitter, figuring it would be good fodder for conversation here. If I just stuck with stuff I ‘endorsed’, this would be pretty thin.

      • Timg56,
        Thanks for the advice. I think I’ll lay off the meds though or then I might really be dangerous.

  8. Re Lorenz 63 model –

    From the lead paragraph (paper paywalled) –

    “Our results demonstrate that predictability of climate distributions under time varying forcing can be highly sensitive to the specification of initial states in ensemble simulations.”

    Gee. Do climatologists really need to be told that chaotic solutions to the Lorenz equations depend on initial states? Somebody might even point out that arbitrarily small changes in initial conditions may lead to totally unpredictable solutions quite quickly.

    It might appear that problems relating to atmospheric convection and other things noted by Lorenz in 1963, are being rediscovered in 2015.

    • David Wojick

      What paper are you quoting, Mike? The models are chaotic, but only on a relatively small scale, that supposedly is irrelevant to climate forecasts. Everyone just ignores chaos because there is no money in unpredictability.

      • What paper are you quoting, Mike? The models are chaotic, but only on a relatively small scale, that supposedly is irrelevant to climate forecasts.

        That’s the story, but it is fiction.

        The IPCC depicts it thusly:

        Natural variability increases from the inter-annual out to the multi-centennial scale. The Holocene variance of 2 to 4 C in the ice core proxies is certainly consistent with that:

        It means that AGW is within the range of what nature might throw at us anyway.

      • It means that AGW is within the range of what nature might throw at us anyway.

        You’ve said this on my blog, but I think you’re (at best) over-interpreting this. What it is saying is that the amplitude of century-scale internally-driven perturbations can be larger than the amplitude of decadal scale internally-driven perturbations. However, given that the time period is 10 times longer, the trend is likely to be considerably smaller. There is nothing in what you’re presented to suggested that internally-driven trends can be of order 1C/century.

      • Steven Mosher

        TE

        :It means that AGW is within the range of what nature might throw at us anyway.

        It doesnt matter whether AGW is within the range of what nature might
        throw us anyway.

        What matters is simple: Given that there is natural variation, what will AGW likely add on top of that?

        Our best science says that if we double c02 we can expect around 3C of warming on top of that.

        You want to play with ranges… ok it might add 1-5C. The effects of this range from benign to horrible.

        That says: though shalt not dump c02 with IMPUNITY into my damn air.

        So, can we reason together about ways in which we can hedge/eliminate/ the worst possible outcomes. Or are you going to continue to assert an unlimited right to dump c02 into my air?

      • Our best science says that if we double c02 we can expect around 3C of warming on top of that.

        No it doesn’t. The only science that says that is completely obsolete.

        The best science says that the effects are unpredictable, and could range from cooling to much greater warming. With little prediction regarding the location of the center, or the width, of the PDF.

        Unfortunately, the best science is comparatively new, and hasn’t been built into the “post-normal science” used to justify extreme “solutions” to the problem.

        So, can we reason together about ways in which we can hedge/eliminate/ the worst possible outcomes. Or are you going to continue to assert an unlimited right to dump c02 into my air?

        Good Luck! As long as the majority of proponents of the “global warming” problem continue using it as a stalking horse for their socialist agenda, you’re going to have a hard time convincing anybody who doesn’t really understand the science that they should be “open-minded” about things.

      • Actually, the best science says 1.2-1.3 C per doubling of CO2. Try to keep up with the times.

      • What it is saying is that the amplitude of century-scale internally-driven perturbations can be larger than the amplitude of decadal scale internally-driven perturbations. However, given that the time period is 10 times longer, the trend is likely to be considerably smaller.

        That might be if you considered only the variations with a period of a century, but what of times when variations of all other periodicities were in phase?

        On the chart, variance is about 100 times at the bicentennial scale as it is at the biennial scale.

        There is nothing in what you’re presented to suggested that internally-driven trends can be of order 1C/century.

        The warming from 1910 through 1945 certainly exceeded 1C per century and most of that warming would appear to have been natural, not AGHG:

        (the 30yr trends are C/century, not C as labeled)

        The variance in the ice core temperature proxies for the last 10,000 years appears at times more than 4C per century. Now, that’s point data, not global data, but it’s large and not likely to occur in complete isolation ( that’s why very large scale interpolation over the Arctic is justified with contemporary analyses).

      • The trend for the last 60 years says it is double that (2.4 C per doubling) and that is just a transient effective sensitivity. The low-ball estimates are not accounting for this rather steady slope, and would predict far short of it.
        http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/esrl-co2/scale:0.01/offset:-3.25/plot/gistemp/mean:12/plot/gistemp/mean:120/mean:240

      • The trend for the last 60 years says it is double that (2.4 C per doubling) and that is just a transient effective sensitivity.
        The low-ball estimates are not accounting for this rather steady slope, and would predict far short of it.

        I like the little chart I concocted of thirty year temperature trends ( C/century) and thirty year radiative forcing increase trends:

        Obviously, one could look at an infinite number of periods and scales, but it’s clear that temperature trends before about 1970 didn’t have much to do with GHG radiative forcing, presumably natural variation.

        Also, if you believe that radiative forcing is the dominant cause of temperature change since 1970, then you expect temperature trends to decelerate because radiative forcing trends have decelerated for the last 15 years.

        And sure enough, temperature trends have decelerated for the last 10 years.

      • The early variation is likely at least part solar. The sun went from its least active in the century in 1910 to its most active in several centuries in 1950, and then back to its least active again by 2010. Meanwhile 70% of the CO2 forcing has been since 1950, so it became dominant.

      • Steven Mosher

        AK

        good to see you resign from the debate.

        that means that raw political power will settle things.

      • Steven Mosher says “Or are you going to continue to assert an unlimited right to dump c02 into my air?”

        How about you agree to stop breathing first, and then I will agree to stop breathing a couple of minutes later.

      • Steven Mosher,

        You wrote –

        ” Or are you going to continue to assert an unlimited right to dump c02 into my air?”

        The answer is of course, yes. Are you dim? I will continue exhaling CO2 as long as I possibly can. If you choose not to inhale it, just stop breathing.

        You are suffering from an abject fear of the unknown. I suggest you take a teaspoon of cement, and harden up! I believe another term used here is to put on your big boy pants.

      • AK

        good to see you resign from the debate.

        that means that raw political power will settle things.

        So you think it’s “good” that “raw political power will settle things”? And you think that my “resign[ing] from the debate” will even make a difference?

        I think my comments make a difference. And IMO they’ll continue to do so. But I also think people who reject the pseudo-science called “post-normal science” aren’t going to accept anything from anybody who gives “post-normal science” a seat at the table.

      • That might be if you considered only the variations with a period of a century, but what of times when variations of all other periodicities were in phase?

        Well, how likely is that? At all scales I think the most likely trend is 0. What your figure is showing is that if you consider a very long time interval (much longer than a century) and then consider the power at the different scales (which depends on amplitude – always positive), there is more power at long scales, than at short. What you’re suggesting is that maybe, by chance, the internally-driven perturbations this century have preferentially been large and all positive. I suspect that the chance of this happening is very very very small. You’d also have to explain where the CO2 warming is which – I think – we all agree is present.

      • Mosher:

        Our best science says that if we double c02 we can expect around 3C of warming on top of that.

        Au contraire, our BEST science says that S is zero or possibly negative. Our WORST science says that S is +3

      • oldfossil | June 28, 2015 at 5:56 pm |
        Mosher:

        Our best science says that if we double c02 we can expect around 3C of warming on top of that.

        Au contraire, our BEST science says that S is zero or possibly negative. Our WORST science says that S is +3

        Conference guesses and bad modeling says +3°C. If that is our best science we need better science.

        The non-Hansen model in 1979 said 2°C. They added a +/- 0.5 error range. 1.5-2.5°C is at least close, or at least the 1.5°C is.

        Empirical measurement says 2.4 +/- 0.72 W/m2 for TCR or 3..6 +/- 1.08 W/m2 for ECS. 3.6+1.08 W/m2 (4.68 W/m2) would give a worst case ECS of 1.26°C. or an increase of 1.26°C worst case if the CO2 doubled.

        No one actually expects CO2 to be 800 PPM in 2100. There doesn’t appear to be a way to cause 1°C of GHG related warming in 2100 at this point The global warmers job is done and they can go home.

    • Steven Mosher

      “Gee. Do climatologists really need to be told that chaotic solutions to the Lorenz equations depend on initial states? Somebody might even point out that arbitrarily small changes in initial conditions may lead to totally unpredictable solutions quite quickly.”

      Read harder/

      :The implication for climate prediction is that the climate may—in parallel with weather forecasting—have states from which its future behaviour is more, or less, predictable in distribution.”

      The biggest issue is that single model realizations are unable to reliably represent the climate of the Lorenz equations. In GCM studies some models are only run one time. while others are run multiple times. The findings are NOT that the climate is unpredictable, but rather that when designing experiments you have to be careful not to undersample.

      But back to your inane question

      here is your ‘flynn”

      ‘ Do climatologists really need to be told that chaotic solutions to the Lorenz equations depend on initial states? ”

      a flynn is a inane question

      here is what they wrote:

      ” This is a result which at a superficial level is similar to the well-known initial condition sensitivity in weather forecasting, but with different origins and different implications for ensemble design.”

      Do they need to be told? BZZZNT nope. the text shows you that they
      are aware of the similarity AT A SUPERFICIAL LEVEL

      at a flynn level of understanding in other words.

      • Don Monfort

        Flynn is easy, Steven. Go do some some damn science. Just funnin ya, Steve. Don’t get mad.

      • Steven Mosher

        I am.
        thanks for confirming my prediction.

      • With the analogy to weather forecasting (which has better skill when initialized in a strong MJO signal), i suspect that decadal predictions have better skill when initialized when the PDO and AMO are in stable warm or cold phases. Initializing the CMIP5 decadal simulations in 2005 was in the midst of PDO fluctuations, wouldn’t expect high predictability.

      • Don Monfort

        Steven, Steven

        I’d be happy to pretend to confirm all your predictions, if you will just stop being so angry and petulant. You know I am your biggest/only fan around here. I am trying to help you rehabilitate your image and credibility. Try to work with me.

      • You are a selfless gem, Don.

      • Don

        You will need a large PR budget. And perhaPs you can do something about his refusal to accept newspaper clippings even when quoting famous scientists of their day. Perhaps he is ageist and won’t accept any study older than 3 years?

        Give is regular progress reports on your laudable efforts.

        Tonyb

      • Curious George

        “NOT that the climate is unpredictable, but rather that when designing experiments you have to be careful not to undersample.” Steven, does a 100 km grid size undersample? What is a maximum grid size that does not undersample?

      • Steven Mosher

        “. I am trying to help you rehabilitate your image and credibility. Try to work with me.”

        what folks think of me is none of my business.

        people will believe anything they read in the newspaper.

        some kinda skepticism.

      • Don Monfort

        I took a quick look at WUWT to see what you talking about regarding the sea ice unicorns, Steven. Saw something about ice, but didn’t look like it. Anyway, I skimmed this post of Moncty’s:

        http://wattsupwiththat.com/2015/06/27/i-only-ask-because-i-want-to-know/

        Meh! The comments are good. Roy, Joe Born, Willis, Dr. Brown. And you get the usual mindless cheerleading, despite the instant debunking. Shows that useful discussions can take place at Anthony’s joint.

      • Don Monfort

        I think your research is interesting and useful, Tony. But, I guess if I had a case of the Stockholme Syndrome, I wouldn’t be able to see it.

      • Don Monfort

        Regarding your rehab Steven, you are wasting your time and diminishing your credibility by engaging in pi$$ing matches with uninformed alleged skeptics. They are distracting you and causing you to waste your bullets. I am helping you even though the jokers are on my “side”, because I really want the science to progress and I think you can help.

        It’s like the wars, Steven. When you are in a fight you take your allies where you find them. And you don’t care if they are nitwits, as long as they distract the enemy and cause them to expend ammunition.

        Besides, the uninformed skeptics all together are no worse than Obama. He doesn’t know doo-doo from Shinola. Each side has it’s own useful idiots. Seems fair.

      • Don, yes, that list you mentioned including Spencer all debunked poor Monckton who hasn’t shown up to admit he was wrong yet. Any bets that he will?

      • Don Monfort

        I’d say the odds on that are about the same as you admitting wrong, yimmy. Also, about the same as the chances of you convincing anybody of anything. Does that help?

      • Steven Mosher,

        Here’s what they said –

        ““Our results demonstrate that predictability of climate distributions under time varying forcing can be highly sensitive to the specification of initial states in ensemble simulations.””

        Note the word “ensembles”. If you don’t know what it means, ask someone who does.

        You might care to read the rest of the paragraph. I won’t do your reading for you, but you might note the references to “key uncertainties”, and GCMs.

      • David L. Hagen

        curryja
        Re: “i suspect that decadal predictions have better skill when initialized when the PDO and AMO are in stable warm or cold phases.”

        Spencer and Christy make CMIP5 projections for the full satellite period e.g., 1979 – 2014. Spencer’s PDO index PDO index since 1990 suggests the PDO was shifting from negative to positive about the start of the satellite era in 1979.
        Any suggestions on how that shift would impact such 25 year projections (vs decadal)?

    • David Wojick,

      The link given by Prof Curry under “New publications”.

      The authors mention the relevance to GCMs.

      I am of the view that “climate forecasts” are nonsense in any useful sense. One might as well claim that forecasts of global shoe size have utility. Climate is the average of weather. It seems that weather conditions are never precisely identical, and it follows that the average of weather over a fixed, trailing, period, will also never be precisely identical.

      I can’t think of a use for “climate”, and haven’t heard any reasonable proposals from anyone else.

      Forecasting weather with more accuracy would be a good thing. I’m not even sure about progress on that front. Still, I live in hope!

      • David Wojick

        Sorry I missed that, Mike. As for weather, accurate weather forecasts beyond the chaotic barrier are mathematically impossible, but still we have them in abundance. Intrinsic unpredictability is simply unacceptable.

      • David Wojick

        Ambiguity in the above! I mean we have forecasts in abundance, not accurate forecasts. I lectured about this at a weather conference once, where eight forecasters gave their forecast for the coming winter. No two agreed, but someone was probably right by accident. All got paid, however.

      • You might say that forecasting is a bun dance, most entrants will crumble, fall over and become stale and useless.

  9. So, let’s see … the Greenland glaciers return ice to the sea. The ice melts, is converted to water vapor, then falls a snow on the Hubbard Glacier?

  10. New paper finds “Modern solar maximum forced late 20th century Greenland cooling”:
    “We hypothesize that high solar activity during the modern solar maximum (ca. 1950s-1980s) resulted in a cooling over Greenland and surrounding subpolar North Atlantic through the slow-down of Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) with atmospheric feedback processes.”

    The first part is on the right path, faster solar wind increases positive AO/NAO and cools the AMO and Arctic, but the AMOC would be faster not slower. The RAPID data clearly shows *low* AMOC events occur during negative NAO/AO episodes, which are well correlated to the warming pulses to the AMO and Arctic.

    • David L. Hagen

      Surprised “consensus”

      The results so far have been surprising, and refute the view of the ocean conveyor belt as being in a relatively steady state. In the first year of measurements alone, the transport ranged from 4.0 to 34.9 Sv, encompassing the entire range measured by the ship-based hydrographic sections.

      This order of magnitude change in one year exemplifies how little we know of climate!

  11. Oil is still around $60 at the end of the week. There is an interesting article on Canadian Oil Sands.
    From the article:

    As much as Canada is the land of ‘eh’s’, igloos, and apologies, our US neighbours to the South (or neighbors, as they say in America) are often unaware that our oil is the largest share of their crude imports-and it just keeps growing.


    http://seekingalpha.com/article/3284175-canadian-oil-sands-and-u-s-shale-innovation-via-necessity

    • Great argument for a pipeline from Canada to the American refineries!

      • How about building a refinery in Canada so you don’t have to pipe that abrasive oil through pipe and risk leakage, or push those rolling bombs through the countryside.

      • Yes Bob,

        Hell next thing you know someone will come up with the crazy idea of putting people in a steel tube and boring holes through the ocean with it.

        They could even go batsh*t crazy and stick a nuclear reactor in there with them. That’s a world ending disaster just waiting to happen.

      • Yeah Tim,
        that happened twice, 100 some guys died each time, counting US only.

        You know they pumped that oil through a pipeline and measured the pipe and found it was 95% gone in only a few months.
        You have probably heard of a few oil trains exploding, no?
        You can try showing me you have more to offer than just trying to mimic Don, this blog doesn’t need a copycat Don.
        You are smarter than the average noseconer, or not?

      • Bob,

        While I don’t know how many others here are familiar with the fate of the Scorpion and Thresher, I am. They used photos of our boat in one of the books about the latter. Not sure what point you think you make. We both already know submarine service has its inherent dangers. That’s why it has always been voluntary. And I will note that the loss of those crews did not deter the Navy from operating nuclear submarines. If anything you should be a bit embarassed over playing the 100 deaths each time card. How about some respect for fellow sub sailors (how are not around to speak for themselfs).

        It is also rather odd that you bring up oil train fires / accidents in a discussion about pipelines. One of the arguments for pipeline construction is reducing the number of cars transporting oil on our rail system. I am curious if you are also against piping natural gas to people’s homes.

      • bob,

        On your question: “How about building a refinery in Canada ”

        While the oil business isn’t a particular area of expertise for me, let me take a shot – as a dumba** former torpedoman – at possible answers.

        1) It is more cost effective to pump oil to existing refineries than to pump it to someplace where you have to then build the refineries.

        2) Using refineries located around a major river, rail, highway and oceanic transportation hub is more efficient than building it somewhere without those facilities.

    • David L. Hagen

      Give thanks for good neighbors! We need all the help we can get.

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

  13. Oh Noes! Computer model says society will collapse by 2040 due to catastrophic food shortages [link]

    More CO2 would produce more food with less water, partially solving the problem.

  14. Giant earthquakes are shaking Greenland – and scientists just figured out the disturbing reason why

    Richter scale 5.2 and less are not “giant” earthquakes.

    • Curious George

      No M2.5 or larger earthquake in Greenland in the last 30 days. Maybe authors mistook Greenland for Nepal?

  15. “Solar minimum could bring cold winters to Europe and US, but would not hold off climate change”

    These cold winter shots occur often at sunspot maxima when UV is higher, but when the solar wind is slower.
    If the researchers knew that these cold shots are driven by the Sun at the scale that they happen, they would have to abandon the idea the UV changes are responsible.

    Their temperature projection maps show a relative cooling in the Arctic with increased negative NAO, that is the complete reverse of what happens. The Arctic will warm with increased negative NAO.

    Their solar activity projection showing declining levels all the way to 2100 is not only baseless, they have no means of knowing anything about solar activity levels even two solar cycles ahead, but it also contradicts what is know about the duration and frequency of solar minima.

  16. ‘Beyond The Selfish Gene’:
    Darwin didn’t express the limited view that came in with Dawkins and ‘The Selfish Gene’. The latter view became far too emphasized and hence it distorted the field. But fortunately we don’t have to reconsider everything we knew, because more generic approaches have nevertheless continued to flourish, albeit in minority. These are at last receiving their due attention, so that a better balance will hopefully be restored.

  17. I am one of the “Revkin fans” quoted by Greg Laden — it is unclear whether he is critical of my comment which mentions our host here, Dr. Curry (which he labels a denialist) or if he approves of the comment because it is critical of Revkin. It may be both, as his whole post is a bit confused.

    • Greg Laden is in denial over the fact that there’s room for a middle ground between foaming-at-the-mouth “CAGW” extremism and blanket denial of any problem.

      • Danny Thomas

        Wait! Is this a new “trend”?

        “there’s room for a middle ground”

      • Actually, there’s always been room for a “middle ground”, but AFAIK the extremists have never seen it. And probably never will, that’s most likely one of the definitions of extremism. Along with seeing everything in one dimension, between themselves and their “enemies”.

        Of course, they’re the real enemies.

      • So would thinking there are substantial negative risks associated with climate change make one a “CAGW extremist?”

      • Joseph,

        You ask –

        “So would thinking there are substantial negative risks associated with climate change make one a “CAGW extremist?””

        I would answer “Not at all.” I believe California is currently suffering from drought. If you call that “climate change”, then it is definitely a negative result.

        If you believe you can predict “climate change” in any useful way, or if you believe that reducing CO2 in the atmosphere will stop the present drought in California, floods in China, or increase crop yields, then I think that “extremist” is too mild a term.

        You don’t actually believe that reducing CO2 in the atmosphere will have any advantageous and predictable effects, do you!

      • Wait! Is this a new “trend”?

        “there’s room for a middle ground”

        Judith burned the middle to the ground, so no.

      • Danny Thomas

        JCH,

        Did you offer an extinguisher, or a can of fuel?

      • I objected to her doing it… still do.

        <a href="http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/gistemp/last:60/trend/plot/gistemp/last:60"halfway to a decade, hide the incline

  18. richardswarthout

    “….discoveries made since the latter part of the 20th century have shown that there is more to biological inheritance than DNA. We now know of several mechanisms (involving, for example, modifications in DNA bases, in histone proteins, in the profiles of small reproducing RNAs, and in the three dimensional structure of proteins) that enable cells with identical DNA to have different characteristics which they transmit to daughter cells. This epigenetic inheritance is essential for normal development in multicellular animals. Crucially, epigenetic inheritance occurs not only within individuals during their development, it also occurs between generations: individual yeast cells or bacterial cells can transmit epigenetic variations from one generation to the next, and multicellular organisms can transmit them through their gametes (sperm and eggs).

    In addition to cellular epigenetic inheritance, there are other non-genetic ways in which phenotypic variations can be transmitted from generation to generation. As humans, we are well aware of these: the transmission of cultural variations, such as different religious beliefs, is a prime example.”

    BEWARE! Could the increasing political polarization in the USA and its (Coming Apart)* be the result of genetic and non-genetic inheritance?

    * Coming Apart by Charles Murray (2012 and 2013)

    • The author of that article is also the co-author of Evolution in Four Dimensions, a highly readable book (from 2005) that expands considerably on the ideas in the linked article. With full index and copious bibliography.

      • We now know of several mechanisms (involving, for example, modifications in DNA bases, in histone proteins, in the profiles of small reproducing RNAs, and in the three dimensional structure of proteins) that enable cells with identical DNA to have different characteristics which they transmit to daughter cells.
        So,just how ‘heritable’ are
        modifications in DNA bases?
        histone proteins?

        If these things are not passed on to succeeding generations, they’re not relevant, right?

        In addition to cellular epigenetic inheritance, there are other non-genetic ways in which phenotypic variations can be transmitted from generation to generation. As humans, we are well aware of these: the transmission of cultural variations, such as different religious beliefs, is a prime example.”

        Cultural evolution is a fun concept, but I’m not convinced. I’ve tried a number of religions and rejected them all. Now, I can see a genetically based propensity toward religion or at least group membership because without belonging to a group, humans were less likely to succeed.

      • If these things are not passed on to succeeding generations, they’re not relevant, right?

        Most “epigenetic” characteristics are passed on to succeeding generations. Thing is, the mechanisms are also (in principle) open to being modified by experience within the organism doing the passing.

        It’s fairly complex, like most things in nature. My biggest objection to the ideas presented in Evolution in Four Dimensions is that they don’t give enough attention to the fact that these “epigenetic” processes have to be created and sustained through regular genetic evolution.

        Which doesn’t make the idea invalid, just more complex.

      • In a related note ( maybe one I missed here ) I read this paper which hold that roughly 25% of all of our genetic expression shifts significantly with the seasons.

        The authors looked at Northern and Southern hemispheres and found the shifted response. It kinda fits with the mortality-temperature correlation above. They found that the shifts were for immune response. I didn’t glean whether the expression was temperature or sunlight or perhaps virus exposure induced. But what I found interesting was that the expressions change the load of C-Reactive Proteins as well as InterLeukins. What that says to me is that we’re evolved to ramp up immune response in winter ( in the extra-tropics anyway – they looked at tropical responses and found a monsoonal variation ) because that’s when viral exposure comes. BUT, CRP means greater heart attack risk and IL modifications may mean greater cancer death risk.

        Cold Kills, and perhaps we know why.

      • Thanks for the links on Evolution, very readable.

        As was alluded to in the previous thread, evolution seems to be the only other branch of science where the notion of consensus plays a strong role. Perhaps this evolved as a defense mechanism against creationism?

        The question is, does the consensus on evolution also delay progress in that field? It seems that case could be made.

      • The question is, does the consensus on evolution also delay progress in that field? It seems that case could be made.

        I’d say yes. At least, the tendency to “harden” the “consensus” in response to creationism (including “intelligent design”) reinforces the natural tendency for the current paradigm to shut out alternatives that call it into question.

        Despite that, there have been several “paradigm shifts” in evolutionary theory over the last century or so, and will probably be more, as the discoveries in non-linear dynamics and network theory infuse into the field.

  19. Obidi-ocy, From the article:

    Americans trust their doctors, so the White House wants these medical professionals to be a mouthpiece for President Obama’s global warming agenda.

    “We also need doctors, nurses and citizens, like all of you”President Obama said in a taped speech presented to medical professionals gathered at the White House, “to get to work to raise awareness and organize folks for real change.”

    The Obama administration has been hard at work trying to draw a link between global warming and public health issues. The summit included the U.S. Surgeon General, top administration officials, and public health experts from around the country telling doctors, nurses and other conference goers how to talk about global warming with their patients.

    The central message: doctors should warn their patients that global warming could make their health worse.

    http://dailycaller.com/2015/06/25/the-white-house-wants-your-doctor-to-teach-you-about-global-warming/

    • At first glance I’d say there’s a 50% chance it’s (or was) a scam.

      Why no good explanation of the technology? OK, it might be that “patent pending” doesn’t give them the protection they think they need. Or they might not have been able to spend the time/effort to explain their technology better. But “we’ve got a good thing”, without details, to “crowd-fund” $5,323USD, after which they shut down?

      In the long run, I’d say something like this will happen, although probably not with “crowd-funding”. But I’m very skeptical this is it.

      • Steven Mosher

        they switched to a different funding platform

      • Thanks, Steven, I’ll look into it more.

      • Rayton Solar Raises $1 Million to Produce the World’s Cheapest Energy Via a Laser Beam

        I haven’t read it yet, but here it is for anybody not wanting to wait.

      • Don Monfort

        Their press release is a press release. Grain of salt. I don’t see them in the news and haven’t heard of them from the peeps in VC business. Sounds interesting, but as of now no buzz to this one.

      • Actually, the technology as described makes sense. But I’m also skeptical that high-purity silicon is going to stay very expensive with high demand. I’m somewhat familiar with the technology of zone refining, and I’m confident there are ways to bring the price down by a couple orders of magnitude.

        Which may be good for solar power, but would pretty much eliminate the advantage of this technology. AFAIK.

      • Something’s missing from the glowing corporate PR. They’ve raised a million which is nothing relative to what would be high demand breakthrough technology. If their tech were demonstrably real then angel investors would have been all over it in a heartbeat. Always follow the money or lack of it. Having said that I would wish them and any other entrepreneur the best.

      • If their tech were demonstrably real then angel investors would have been all over it in a heartbeat.

        Personally, I’m not an angel. But then, I don’t have anything (substantial) to invest. But if I did, I’d want the “glowing corporate PR” to go on hold once I’d invested.

      • I’ve learned the hard way through the years AK. Anything in the realm of alternatives that are cost effective and scalable are going to have investors knocking down the doors.

    • Curious George

      The author also wrote an article “Secret donors gave $125 million to fuel American climate change denial.”

      Beautiful buzzwords: “Rayton Solar’s patented technology is to use a particle accelerator (virtually a laser beam) to conduct ion implantation – they blast H+ protons directly into a silicon ingot (raw material), attach the silicon to a substrate, exfoliate directly off the ingot with zero silicon waste, then conduct screen-print wiring and finalize the solar cells with anti reflective coatings.”

    • OK, here’s some more, after a small amount of targeted research:

      According to the article I linked above, as well as the currently open funding effort, Rayton is using recently developed technology to produce very thin layers of silicon for their solar cells. From the article I linked above:

      Rayton Solar’s patented technology is to use a particle accelerator (virtually a laser beam) to conduct ion implantation – they blast H+ protons directly into a silicon ingot (raw material), attach the silicon to a substrate, exfoliate directly off the ingot with zero silicon waste, then conduct screen-print wiring and finalize the solar cells with anti reflective coatings. The finished cells then go through conventional module assembly lines to become solar panels for residential, commercial, and utility use. [bolding mine.]

      The huge “Competitive Advantage” that accrues from using only 4 microns (μm) of silicon for each cell is that they can afford to use a much purer grade of silicon: Float Zone Silicon:

      Even though the CZ (Czochralski) process is commonly used for commercial substrates, it has several disadvantages for high efficiency laboratory or niche market solar cells. CZ wafers contain a large amount of oxygen in the silicon wafer. Oxygen impurities reduce the minority carrier lifetime in the solar cell, thus reducing the voltage, current and efficiency. In addition, the oxygen and complexes of the oxygen with other elements may become active at higher temperatures, making the wafers sensitive to high temperature processing. To overcome these problems, Float Zone (FZ) wafers may be used[1]. In this process, a molten region is slowly passed along a rod or bar of silicon. Impurities in the molten region tend stay in the molten region rather than be incorporated into the solidified region, thus allowing a very pure single crystal region to be left after the molten region has passed. Due to the difficulty in growing large diameter ingots and the often higher cost, FZ wafers are typically only used for laboratory cells and are less common in commercial production.[2]

      Their process appears to be a development from one reported in 2012:

      Twin Creeks Technologies, located in Senatobia, Mississippi, uses a method known as Proton Induced Exfoliation (PIE) and gigantic Ion Cannon known as Hyperion, to bypass both these problems. First, three-millimeter-thick silicon wafers are placed around the outside edge of the machine’s central wheel and will act as the source material for the wafers being produced. Hyperion then charges up its particle accelerator and embeds a layer of protons (basically hydrogen ions) 20 microns below the template’s surface.

      Robotic arms then transport the templates to a furnace which heats them and expands the ions back into hydrogen gas. This causes a thin layer of wafer to cleanly shear from the template but otherwise remain identical to the source material. According to the Twin Creeks site, “The physical attributes of hydrogen, combined with the conditions created by Hyperion, permit the ions to penetrate the surface of the donor wafer without changing its inherent properties and characteristics.” Essentially, the company is using the hydrogen ions as a molecular scalpel.

      I found a white paper describing the “gigantic Ion Cannon known as Hyperion”; this technology appears to be in play as an available industrial product.

      What caught my eye is this:

      The ion source, the acceleration tube and the high voltage generator are contained within a pressure vessel with a diameter of 2.1 m and a length of 4.1 m. The vessel contains compressed SF6 gas at a pressure in the range 50‐100 psi to facilitate operation at voltages up to 1.2 MV. The ion beam which emerges from this beam generation system is focused by a magnetic quadrupole lens and directed into a magnetic scanner system which deflects and scans the beam in the horizontal plane as shown. The scanned beam is then deflected and analyzed by a magnetic dipole magnet which serves to filter out unwanted ion beams and direct the collimated beam onto the inside of a large diameter rotating process drum. The pseudo‐square silicon wafers are mounted on the inside of the drum during implant and between implants, high speed robots are used to load and unload these wafers through a vacuum load‐lock system. [bolding mine.]

      SF6” stands for sulfur hexafluoride, which is inert and reasonably safe with appropriate precautions, but an extremely potent greenhouse gas. Here’s what an industry publication, Hazardous Materials Used In Silicon PV Cell Production: A Primer, has to say about it:

      The extremely potent greenhouse gas sulfur hexafluoride is used to clean the reactors used in silicon production. The Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change considers sulfur hexafluoride to be the most potent greenhouse gas per molecule; one ton of sulfur hexafluoride has a greenhouse effect equivalent to that of 25,000 tons of CO2. It can react with silicon to make silicon tetrafluoride and sulfur difluoride, or be reduced to tetrafluorosilane and sulfur dioxide. Sulfur dioxide releases can cause acid rain, so scrubbers are required to limit air emissions in facilities that use it.

      It is imperative that a replacement for sulfur hexafluoride be found, because accidental or fugitive emissions will greatly undermine the reductions in greenhouse gas emissions gained by using solar power.

      As I understand the Hyperion technology, the silicon ingot has to make a round trip “through a vacuum load‐lock systemonce for every layer exfoliated. Producing a reliable “vacuum load‐lock system” capable of eliminating “accidental or fugitive emissions” without becoming cost-prohibitive would be an important challenge.

      I see no mention of this issue in any of the Rayton “glowing corporate PR”. Either they don’t have any solution (yet) to this issue, or they don’t think would-be investors are savvy enough to find the issue before going further.

      My guess would be the former: if they had a solution to the problem, it would be included among their list of “Competitive Advantages”.

      • WRT the other risk I mentioned above: that the cost of float zone silicon would drop to the point that the advantage would disappear, I found this conference paper from 2003:

        ABSTRACT When solar cells are manufactured by use of float zone (FZ) grown monocrystalline silicon, it is possible to achieve efficiencies near 25%. This value is significantly higher than the typical efficiency of commercial cells (13-16.5%) that is manufactured on Czochralski (CZ) grown monocrystalline or casted polycrystalline silicon. The electronic grade FZ growth process however, requires an expensive form of silicon feedstock material that brings the price of a FZ wafer far above the acceptable range for the PV industry. In order to overcome this dilemma, Topsil has developed a new crystal puller and a new set of process recipes that can accept a larger and rougher type of low cost feedstock. Hereby it is possible to manufacture FZ silicon wafers at the same cost as CZ wafers, without reducing the quality and compromising the efficiency potential of the FZ material.

        […]

        CONCLUSION
        We have shown, that a new cost optimised, high lifetime silicon product has been developed for the PV industry, and by use of this substrate solar cells of more than 20% has been manufactured by SunPower Corporation in a manufacturing process dedicated mass-production. The PV-FZ™ wafer is currently under evaluation by many of the large solar cell manufactures. The new PV-FZ™ production method can generate more than 20 tons of monocrystal pr. year pr. machine and ingot prices at the same level as for CZ silicon level can soon be reached

        A more recent (2014) technical paper from Topsil shows numbers and graphs, of the sort I would expect from a company pushing its products. This seem much more like what I would have expected from Rayton, but a bit of searching didn’t find anything.

      • Energy Return on Investment

        This is an obvious issue with all PV, especially given the myths about “energy return on investment less than unity. In fact, Alsema in 2000 found that:

        Assuming an irradiation of 1700 kWh/m2/yr the energy pay-back time was found to be 2·5–3 years for present-day roof-top installations and 3–4 years for multi-megawatt, ground-mounted systems.

        This would translate, for a 20-year PV lifespan, to ~4-6 as the EROI.

        In 2005, Fthenakis and Alsema found that:

        The Energy Pay-Back Times (EPBT) of such systems are, respectively, 1.7, 2.2, and 2.7 years for ribbon, multi-, and mono-Si technology.

        This translates into something a little better.

        Far more cogent, IMO, is this thesis from 2013 by Johan Lundin:

        Installed photovoltaic nameplate power have been growing rapidly around the world in the last few years. But how much energy is returned to society (i.e. net energy) by this technology, and which factors contribute the most to the amount of energy returned? The objective of this thesis was to examine the importance of certain inputs and outputs along the solar panel production chain and their effect on the energy return on (energy)investment (EROI) for crystalline wafer-based photovoltaics.

        A process-chain model was built using publicly available life-cycle inventory (LCI) data sets. This model has been kept simple in order to ensure transparency. Univariate sensitivity analysis for processes and multivariate case studies was then applied to the model.

        The results show that photovoltaic EROI values are very sensitive to assumptions regarding location and efficiency. The ability of solar panels to deliver net energy in northern regions of the earth is questionable. Solar cell wafer thickness have a large impact on EROI, with thinner wafers requiring less silicon material. Finding an alternative route for production of solar-grade silicon is also found to be of great importance, as is introduction of kerf loss recycling. Equal system sizes have been found to yield an primary EROI between approximately 5.5-19 depending on location and assumptions. This indicates that a generalized absolute EROI for photovoltaics may be of little use for decision-makers. Using the net energy cliff concept in relation to primary EROI found in this thesis shows that primary EROI rarely decreases to less than the threshold of 8:1 in univariate cases. Crystalline photovoltaics under similar system boundaries as those in the thesis model does not necessarily constrain economic growth on an energetic basis. [bolding mine.]

        This seems much more in line with my (admittedly intuitive) expectations: the low side matches other work, but the opportunity to drive the high side up to good values is better reflected.

        Looking at Rayton’s innovations, we see that the extreme thinness (~4 μm) of high-purity silicon reduces that energy cost by a couple orders of magnitude. OTOH, each layer requires a separate irradiation by their particle beam technology. I haven’t found access to the information how much energy this requires, but my guess would be it’s considerably less than that of the Hyperion technology.

        AFAIK these high-energy protons will slow down (lose energy) at an approximately constant rate while driving through the silicon, and since they only have to go 4 μm rather than 20-30, the energy of the beam would presumably be proportionally lower.

        I find it disappointing, however, and a little suspicious, that studies of this, or at least projections, aren’t available to the general public.

        Still, I don’t want to give the impression of a negative attitude towards the technology: it’s a powerful innovation, that along with rapidly reducing prices for float zone silicon bids fair to support my off-the-cuff projection that solar PV will cost in the same range as plastic film within a few decades or so.

        The problems will be solved, even if Rayton doesn’t have solutions in hand, and solar PV (per watt) will continue to decline exponentially in cost for at least another 15-20 years, to well under 1/10 its current cost.

  20. Most of us don’t recognize just how big Africa is. Creating a transmission grid that we in the U.S. and EU take for granted — is mind boggling:

    • Stephen

      Presumably all the countries have been superimposed over the continent of Africa? . If so, yes that is mind boggling. Bearing in mind how troubled much of the continent is and it’s difficult topography it’s difficult to see how an effective grid can be built in all but a few countries.

      Ps. It would be interesting to see Russia superimposed on the same basis as those other countries.

      Tonyb

      • Tony, Africa is 30 million km2, Russia 17. So ~1.8x.

      • It would also be interesting to see how much of Russia is actually electrified. To see the dead spots and the density of electrification. I am sure there are vast empty areas. Just as it’s highly likely vast parts of the Sahara would be unlikely to have electrification demand (relative to the cost).

      • A lot of China, Mongolia, and Russia is black at night.

  21. Greenland ice core temp data.

  22. What it shows is the temperature trend is down with periods of warmth.

    • David Wojick

      Unfortunately there is no such thing as ice core temperature data.

      • David

        As you well know there IS ice core temperature data.

        http://www.antarcticglaciers.org/glaciers-and-climate/ice-cores/ice-core-basics/

        Whether it has any merit whatsoever in estimating temperatures or greenhouse gases and whether those extrapolations can be deemed to be a worthwhile global proxy us quite another thing.

        tonyb.

      • David Wojick

        Tony, these are crude estimates of temperature based on theory laden interpretation of proxy data. That is not temperature data as the word data is normally used. These are not measurements of temperature. In particular, given the extremely crude nature of these proxy based estimates the curve alone should never be taken as accurate. This is perhaps the greatest fallacy in the climate debate — treating crude estimates as accurate measurements.

    • David

      I’m not disagreeing. That is why I used the word ‘estimate’ and queried their merit. Far too much reliance is placed on such proxies as these.

      tonyb

      • I think those proxies are very good representations of past global climate and CO2 levels, Tony. Ain’t that settled science? We should be using a few trees here and there, some ice cores and some upside down sediments to tell us about the current climate. Would save us a lot of money. How do those proxies compare with the instrumental measurements made over the last half-century or so, Tony?

      • I forgot to mention that it would also eliminate the need to hide the decline.

  23. Something is not only causing the climate to change but change in a semi cyclic beat with not only a variance in the intensity of the changes, but in a direction which will always revert to the mean. Meaning the climate never trends in one direction without eventually not only stopping but reverting toward the mean from which it deviated from.

    If it is not a combination of Milankovitch Cycles, Solar Variability modified by Geo Magnetic Variability, Land Ocean Arrangements and the Ice Dynamic then what is it? If it were a matter of simple random and chaotic happenings the semi cyclic nature of the historical climatic record in that case would not be present, as well as the climate always reverting back to it’s mean. This leads to the conclusion that there has to be climatic factors that exert an influence upon the climate and that these factors have to have a cyclic variability to them. There is no other way to go with this given the historical climatic record of change, this explanation is the one that fits the best.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/06/02/multiple-intense-abrupt-late-pleisitocene-warming-and-cooling-implications-for-understanding-the-cause-of-global-climate-change/

    • David Wojick

      Chaos is a form of stability and this looks like it.

    • David Wojick

      What does “semi cyclic” mean?

      • David Wojick

        If semi cyclic is the same as quasi periodic then that is what is called the footprint of chaos. However, in chaotic oscillations the averages also oscillate, as well as varying with scale. This is called strange statistics I think. It is also characteristic of climate data.

  24. Let me try to approach it in this manner. The shortfall when it comes to climate is the inability to intergrade all the various factors that are involved when it comes to the climate that will not result in a given item (the sun) changing in a given way resulting in an x climate outcome. Somehow in the climate arena there is this opinion that an x change in solar variability has to immediately translate to an x change climatic response. In addition lag times need to be incorporated into the equation.

    I will add, climate regime change, and natural variation of the climate within a climatic regime are entirely two different things. What throws people off is the natural climatic variations within a particular climatic regime. This is what obscures the solar climate connection.
    In addition I will go so far to say the climate can not change into another climatic regime without the aid of solar variability but that does not mean it can not fluctuate within a given climate regime. That being the basis of your problem when it comes to the solar/climate connection.

    I feel it is these four factors (Milankovitch Cycles, Solar Variability ,Geo Magnetic Field Strength ,Land/Ocean Arrangements/Ice Dynamic ) which govern the climate of the earth and give it a beat of 1500 years or so but never in some regular fashion ,that again being due to what I said in the above and what follows.

    The factors that govern the big picture when it comes to the climate are Milankovitch Cycles, Solar Variability, and these last three, the Geo Magnetic Field Strength of the Earth , Land /Ocean Arrangements/ Ice Dynamic those last three (geo magnetic field, land/ocean arrangements/ice dynamic) determining how effective Milankovitch Cycles and Solar Variability will be when it comes to impacting the climate.

    This explains why the cycle is there but it varies so much over time.

    In addition the evidence is mounting that the climate changes in sync in both hemispheres which eliminates a redistribution of energy within the climatic system for the reason why the climate changes ,which is on weak grounds to begin with ,and strengthens the fact that it is only changes in the total energy coming into the climatic system that can change it enough to bring it into another climate regime.

    Further I maintain that all Intrinsic Earth Bound climatic factors are limited as to how much they can change the climate due to the total amount of energy in the climatic system they have to work with. Hence, they have the ability to change the climate within a climate regime( maybe plus or minus 1c) but they can not bring the climate from one regime to another regime. They refine the climate.

    Then finally one has to allow for the rogue asteroid impact or maybe super nova explosion some where off in space that at times had a big impact on the climate system which would further obscure or even eliminate at times the 1500 year semi cyclic climatic cycle.

    Salvatore Del Prete

    June 26, 2015 at 8:37 am

  25. RE the Wash Post article on Greenland earthquakes.

    What exactly is the “disturbing” reason? A big so what as far as I can tell. And I love how it is explained to the readers as if they were small kids in a bathtub playing with their rubber ducky.

    Also like the one researcher saying how the number of quakes is several times what was measured in the 90’s. I’m sure it has nothing to do with the fact they are doing considerably more measuring than in the 90’s. Like someone once heard a tree fall in the forest, standing just on the edge. 10 years later someone else gets money to place microphones through out the forest. Oh my Lord, the number of trees falling in the forest have risen dramatically in the last ten years. A disturbing phenomenom. What is causing them to fall at an obviously increasing rate? I know. Climate change.

  26. Love the Carbon Brief link as well.

    Problem: Inability to link “extreme” weather to climate change.

    Solution: Make up a new method that is more likely to get the results you are looking for.

  27. The hits keep coming.

    So some Institute with “Sustainability” in its name takes the results of a Loyd’s report analyzing what a shock to global food production would create and then using “pausible” climate modeling scenarios (read the worse case we could find among the 70 or so model outputs) they come up with total collapse of civilization by 2040. By which time we might actually see the first of those 10 million climate refugees.

    Perhaps we should take up a collection to buy these people an X-Box or Playstation and thus free up computer time for real research.

  28. Dr Curry, I’m trying to work out why Jennifer Marohasy doesn’t make your blogroll, but Joe Duarte does. Jennifer is a genuine earth scientist. Duarte is a soft scientist, his thinking is post-normal i.e. politically correct and so much the worse for the facts, and he will go through any contortions to protect Mann et al. from accusations of malpractice. In addition he doesn’t seem to be terribly bright.

    • Don Monfort

      He is actually very intelligent. So there is no point in going into the rest of your evaluation of the gentleman and scholar, Jose Duarte. Whether or not you agree with him, if you don’t find his writing interesting and intelligent, you are literally an old fossil.

  29. Giant earthquakes are shaking Greenland – and scientists just figured out the disturbing reason why

    The North Atlantic is getting cold. Over the 2014-15 season, the mass of the Greenland ice sheet grew faster than the 1990—2013 mean, and the melt began much later than last year. The Greenland ice sheet may be on the verge of growing, as it did in the 1970s and 80s.

    Over the last 30 days, there have been 358 earthquakes magnitude 4.5–7.8 worldwide. Two of those were in the Greenland Sea. But since the shallowest of those two was about 8.5 miles deep, they were clearly not caused by a calving glacier.

    As noted previously, magnitude 4.6–5.2 are not “giant earthquakes.” And there’s nothing “disturbing” about glacier calving.

    Much like the nonsense about “screaming Alaska,” the absurdity of this article is depressing.

    • Curious George

      Those two Greenland Sea earthquakes were on the Mid-Atlantic rift. Now if that activity can be ascribed to Global Warming, these scientists made a Great Discovery.

      • The referenced paper seems reasonable. Mooney’s embellished interpretation is nuts.

        Glacial earthquakes have been a known phenomena since 2003. They are not limited to Greenland. They only occur in fast-moving, tidewater-terminating glaciers, typically during the melt season (dates of the 10 quakes in the study range from 25 July–14 August 2013). A magnitude around 5 is typical for these quakes.

        I searched USGS to see if any 4.0–5.5 quakes occurred in Greenland last year during mid-July through mid-September. Nada.

        I changed the year to 2013. Nada.

        Then I found this paper that studies 121 glacial earthquakes occurring in Greenland from 2006–2010. The paper tells me that these earthquakes have magnitudes 4.6–5.2, but their durations are so long (30–60s) compared with tectonic earthquakes of similar size that they don’t appear in standard catalogs of global seismicity.

        Apparently these “giant” quakes are “so big” they’re hard to spot in seismic records, and, outside of the papers that describe them, there is no publicly-available record of their occurrence.

  30. David Wojick

    Interesting climate model bias issue:
    http://www.co2science.org/articles/V18/jun/a18.php
    I did not know they did bias correction. Sounds arbitrary. Based on the references there seems to be a large literature on bias correction. So in addition to adjusting the data they are adjusting the models. Not what I call science.

    • Well the Hubble telescope had a bias and they had to apply bias correction so it could correctly translate the readings on the CCD receivers. Happens all the time.

      • David Wojick

        JS: I would think that in astronomy one can determine the bias and correct for it. Not so in climate.

    • See previous post on climate model tuning
      https://judithcurry.com/2013/07/09/climate-model-tuning/

      paper by Mauritsen and Bjorn Stevens

      • Thank you. Yes I remember that (and others). I wonder how you can measure the evolution of climate models? Surly a subject worth following. and if I find any interesting research along those lines I will share it with the blog.

      • David Wojick

        JS: What in the evolution do you propose to measure? Even the number of models is not well defined.

      • David,
        I didn’t propose anything but the popular term would be skill. What would you define as an acceptable metric? From reading Prof. Curry’s extensive blog posts there may be different metrics for different types of models.

      • climate modelers have been arguing for decades over metrics.
        http://www-metrics-panel.llnl.gov/wiki

      • It would really be nice if the modelers published the expected performance/margin of error for each of the metrics for their model.

        •Precipitation and precipitable water
        •Top of Atmosphere (TOA) outgoing longwave and reflected shortwave radiation
        •TOA shortwave and longwave cloud radiative effect
        •Atmospheric temperature, zonal and meridional wind (200hPa and 850hPa)
        •Surface temperature (land)
        •Sea Surface Temperature (SST), Height (SSH) and Salinity (SSS) (ocean only, equatorward of 50 degrees)

        •Arctic and Antarctic sea-ice extent (total area only)

    • Yes, David, biases are inevitable in the sub grid models used for example turbulence and convection. I do agree though that the dynamical core which just solves the Navier-Stokes equations should not need any bias correction.

  31. “Massive nitrous oxide emissions from the tropical South Pacific Ocean…”
    The enigmatic ENSO upwelling. La Nina – Heat cool water and store it in the IPWP. Increase GHGs. El Nino – Cool warm water. Decrease upwelling GHGs. There was a discussion about natural variability of CO2. Seems that if it happens with nitrous oxide emissions as at the link, it happens with CO2 as well. The point might have been back then, it’s not a lot. We can consider the natural variability trounced by our emissions. Yet we have this study.

  32. A ‘hydrothermal siphon’ drives water circulation through the seafloor
    New study by scientists at UC Santa Cruz explains previous observations of ocean water flowing through the seafloor from one seamount to another

  33. Listening to the Matt Ridley EconTalk podcast (currently linked from Twitter by Judith). So far, this sounds identical to Judith’s own view. A groupthink of sorts?

    • Jim D wrote, “A groupthink of sorts?”

      A group of two?

      • I was thinking the same thing :) I met Matt Ridley for the first time two weeks ago in the UK

      • I am interested to know if Judith has any disagreement at all with Ridley, or is it 100% the same thought process.

      • Well first off i don’t refer to myself as a ‘lukewarmer’, although I am ok with the way MR defined it. There are definitely some similar thought processes. Personally, I have not investigated ‘benefits’ of CO2, so i don’t speak to that issue; instead i focus on hazards/dangers (or not)

      • WUWT classifies you as a Lukewarmer in their blog roll. It seems accurate to me.

      • Jim D,

        At this rate I half expect Judith to send you a bill for nanny services.

      • “100% the same thought process” Hard to believe that, even you, would ask such a question. Demonstrates a pretty severe case of confirmation bias on your part.