Week in review – science edition

by Judith Curry

A few things that caught my eye this past week.

In the news

Asthma Justification for EPA Regulations Gutted by the Latest Science  [link]

Sea-level rise and sinking land make deltas extremely vulnerable [link]

A new NASA program to assess the melting of Greenland ice sheet [link]

Sahara desert greening due to climate change? [link]

Fracking Chemicals Linked to Cancer, According to New Report [link]

Pacific Decadal Oscillation surging again after spring dip [link]

Global warming seen lurking behind this summer’s deadly heat waves, from Europe to Japan [link]

If global warming really did pause, the planet just pressed ‘play’ again [link]  …

What the Colorado waste water spill tells us about mining contamination [link]

New papers and blog posts

New sunspot analysis shows rising global temperatures not linked to solar activity [link]  …

The New Sunspot Data … and Satellite Sea Levels [link]  …

Penguins’ Climate-Change Solution? Cliff-Climbing [link]

No Consensus: Earth’s Top of Atmosphere Energy Imbalance in CMIP5-Archived (IPCC AR5) Climate Models [link]

How do small Canadian rivers affect freshwater flow from Arctic to N. Atlantic? [link]

History of temperature scales and their impact on the climate trends [link]  …

Cross-national analysis of farmer climate change attitudes in high income countries [link]

About science and scientists

The future of science will soon be upon us: implications for research publication and funding [link]

IPCC Chair election fever: There are only 8 weeks to go until the election for the biggest job in climate science: [link]   …

Why do people believe conspiracy theories? Because they feel they lack control over their lives. New study (not by Lewandowsky) [link]

The Third Way Of Probability & Statistics: Beyond Testing and Estimation To Importance,… [link]

Scientist, opine thyself! [link]

Affirmative consent: the new campus totalitarianism [link]

What Doctors Can Learn from Journalists about Ethics in Medical Reporting  [link]

The great Victorian climate debate [link]  …

Seeing Struggling Math Learners as ‘Sense Makers,’ Not ‘Mistake Makers’ [link]

History of peer review [link]  …

An interview with @CassSunstein: From #groupthink to collective intelligence. [link]

Nope you can’t learn about climate change in Georgia schools [link]

199 responses to “Week in review – science edition

  1. Delta Subsidence is often characterized by a higher rate than sea level rise.

    The solution? It may be best to plan to move infrastructure upstream. The port of New Orleans could be moved to Baton Rouge some time in the future.

  2. That TIME story is pretty hilarious. They’re trying so very, very hard to not say “the EPA screwed up.”

    They used the line “loose material gave way” in the story and the video. Yeah, it “gave way” because the EPA subcontractor knocked a hole in the dam holding back the water. A dam which was only full because they did some other silly things.

    By the way: that evil-looking yellow color? Iron oxide mud, which isn’t toxic. It’s the same ochre color as a lot of the dirt you can see in photos and videos from the area. It’s used as a pigment because it’s non-toxic and stable as hell.

    The actual toxic heavy metals in the water were mostly measured in the low parts per million during the initial surge (not good for long term drinking, but not as toxic as many are pretending), and are dropping back to normal.

    • Test 2.

    • That is true. WRT to spills, BP has paid ~27 BILLION for the DWH spill. Of course, some of that money went to cleanups. The fisheries business in total is only a few billion per year, and it wasn’t wiped out, not even close. BP could have made direct payments to the fishermen and paid a lot less than 27 billion. Not only that, but 2011, a year after the spill, was a really good year fishing in the Gulf.


      In this case (EPA spill) too, the emotional response is out of proportion to the actual damage. Even arsenic may be a necessary trace metal for humans. And iron oxide, as you say, is used as a pigment. It is used in makeup and has been for hundreds if not thousands of years.


      • BP made a lot of direct payments to fishermen, including me. I had zero direct oil related damages but due to press coverage and out of school “scientific” assessments, I was compensated for half a season.


        Remember to take most environmental science with a grain of salt.

      • Eleven people died in the Macondo blowout because managers were being pressured to save a few bucks and shave a few corners. BP got off easy.

      • Four people died at the American compounds in Benghazi because government officials were cutting corners on security and other operations. (It was miraculous that it wasn’t more.)

        Hillary Clinton got off easy.

        Of course, the difference is she was the “right kind” of person so she was never held to account. Instead, the press covered for her as much as possible. Let’s see, $27 billion divided by 11 is approximately $2 billion dollars per death. By my reckoning, Hillary Clinton owes someone ~$8 billion. You know, if there’s a principle involved and not just blame mongering.

    • Curious George

      Heavy metals good. Carbon dioxide bad.

    • My wife visited Beijing and Shanghai for two weeks last month on business. On a clear day the sky is not blue but whitish blue. Her eyes did burn at a few points. This is all under the control of a totalitarian government, central planning and all. Why do the lefties in the west want to go in that direction?Our children are taught now in school that capitalism is uncaring and leads to polluters but a stronger government would stop them. I need someone on the left out there to explain how more control and management by high level bureaucrats leads to health and wealth. (Forget about liberty for now.)

      • China is an example of what happens when the advocates of a clean and safe environment lose to industrial profitmaking and expansion. Their equivalent of the EPA, if such exists, has failed big-time. This is an example of where weak or no regulation leads. It’s a situation the western world was in in the 50’s an 60’s before they started to think more about clean air.

      • Very good question Ron. The Soviet Union, Cuba, North Korea, China. All totalitarian yet not exactly great stewards of Earth. I can here liberals saying “but it will be different when we run it.”

      • Jim D, that’s the same China that some in the IPCC envy for their ability to make decisions quickly. Perhaps the issue is when an elite group is in charge what the masses do to polute their own environments isn’t a problem. Just don’t pollute the elite’s space and continue to make money for the elites.

      • During the 2008 Olympics, Beijing was able to clear the air up by closing down surrounding industries and restricting traffic as a temporary measure until the tourists and TV cameras left. They care less about how their people live than their overseas reputation by this evidence, but I think they are starting to see their air quality pics as an embarrassment internationally, and it is this kind of external peer pressure that works with them rather than any internal environmental movement.

      • Mao: Morality is a luxury of the rich.

        Probably similar: Environmentalism is a luxury of the rich.

      • This is all just crazy, yimmy. You are really not very bright:

        “China is an example of what happens when the advocates of a clean and safe environment lose to industrial profitmaking and expansion. Their equivalent of the EPA, if such exists, has failed big-time. This is an example of where weak or no regulation leads. It’s a situation the western world was in in the 50’s an 60’s before they started to think more about clean air.”

        The free western world never got into that condition, because the leaders of the free world have to answer to their people. The environment of Red China is in the disastrous shape it is in, because the country is controlled by a small group of thugs who under the pretense of socialism do whatever it takes to keep their people obedient so they can keep their power and privileges, period.

        In the last couple of decades that meant growth at any cost. You are trying to spin it like it’s a battle between evil profit seeking capitalists and the Chinese Sierra Club. Some kind of phony parallel with what you imagine in your little progressive point head is going on in the western democracies. How utterly foolish and subversive. Yeah, I said subversive.

      • Steven Mosher, “Or put another way if China cleans up their air pollution they will see more improvement.”

        When China cleans up their coal problem, which is more than just coal fired power plants, they will have an improvement in air quality with attached health benefits. They will not have perfect air quality. Their port cities and high traffic areas will still have problems likely worse than the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles for example.

        When the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles eliminate all diesel engine use and provide shore power so ships at port can be “clean”, they will have less of an air quality problem with attached health benefits but they will still not have perfect air quality.

        The problem with your and BEST’s simplistic recommendations is that they don’t “project” how much will be accomplished and how much will be left to accomplish, “realistically”. Your BEST map lists “sources” but doesn’t actually show any sources. Include coal plants, residential coal use, vehicle use and industrial use estimates and then you start having something. Pick a close to “ideal” region for control in order to determine a background threshold and it is even better. Before long you might even have an “engineering quality” analysis.

        As it is, the report is overly simplistic and appears more political than “scientific”.

      • Don M, we are saying the same thing about China. The elites don’t care about the environment that their people live in (unless it embarrasses them). They favor profitmaking at the expense of environmental regulation. The industrialists just have better lobbying with the powerful people than the average person, and pollution is what happens.

      • China and Russia are what we call plutarchies (ruled by the few), where wealth buys power and lack of wealth gets you ignored.

      • We are very obviously not saying the same thing about China, yimmy disingenuous. You are saying it’s the profit motive of creeping capitalism that is the problem. It’s like the western world in the 50s and 60s, NOT. The problem is totalitarian socialism. Animal Farm. But in your little left-loon mind, it’s got to be profit making that is the root of all evil. Grow up.

      • Socialism implies some degree of spreading the national wealth and reduced income inequality (see Europe). China is not that. Its wealth is possibly even more highly concentrated than in the US. Poverty levels have dropped below US levels, so there may be some degree of socialism there.

      • Steven Mosher

        “The problem with your and BEST’s simplistic recommendations is that they don’t “project” how much will be accomplished and how much will be left to accomplish, “realistically”. Your BEST map lists “sources” but doesn’t actually show any sources. Include coal plants, residential coal use, vehicle use and industrial use estimates and then you start having something. Pick a close to “ideal” region for control in order to determine a background threshold and it is even better. Before long you might even have an “engineering quality” analysis.”

        Getting information on the actual sources may not prove as easy as you think. It’s on the list of things to do.

        Take vehicles for example.

        So the order of analysis looks like this

        A) get the actual concentration data ( done)
        B) Track it back to sources (done)
        C) Pin sources down in a more detailed fashion ( very hard, starting)

        There will of course be problems.. where the concentrations can be traced back to source X, and source X claims that they are emitting nothing.

        ideal regions are already evident. its key to the method for estimating residency time since there is a wide uncertainty on that parameter.

      • Curious George

        Los Angeles air used to be almost as polluted as Beijing’s today.

      • Steven Mosher, “Getting information on the actual sources may not prove as easy as you think. It’s on the list of things to do.”

        Let me help.


        General or off road diesel is commonly used in heavy equipment associated with ports including the ships, yard transfer equipment, locomotives and trucks, generators and container refrigeration etc.

        There is an ongoing battle in China over what should be tackled first, coal, transportation fuels or barbeque joints.

        Research more and publish less.

      • Here is a neat q&a,

        Q: What’s your opinion on the role of coal-fired power generation in medium- and long-term energy supply mix and state environmental protection work in China?

        A: A coal-dominated energy mix in China is inevitable to ensure China’s energy security. Therefore, to reduce environmental pollution to the greatest extent, a similar proportion of improvements to coal-fired power plant emissions and implementation of clean coal power generation are also inevitable. Chinese coal consumption for electricity generation accounts for a little more than 50% of all coal consumption, which is far lower than the percentage in developed countries and even the global average. For example, the percentage of coal use for electricity in the U.S. accounts for about 90%, Canada 85%, Germany 81%, the UK 75%, Russia 64%, and the global average is approximately 78%. China should increase the proportion of coal used for electricity, and also increase the proportion of electricity as the source of end-use energy consumption.


      • captd, those numbers look completely wrong. Electricity generation by coal in the US is less than half and declining. China also has other options: solar, nuclear, hydro, wind.

      • OK, I see , it is percentage of coal used for electricity generation, not percentage of electricity generation by coal. Big difference.

      • JimD, “OK, I see , it is percentage of coal used for electricity generation, not percentage of electricity generation by coal. Big difference.”

        Right. The Chinese coal power plants actually have more scrubbers installed than the US as a percentage of capacity. However, if half the coal isn’t burned in power plants that doesn’t do much good. The Chinese are also just starting to match US road vehicle fuel standards and just like the US the Off Road fuels used at ports and container rail yards are still going to be a problem. They would be better off using natural gas in off road equipment than in power plants.

      • jim2, nice graph. btw, that tiny green residential probably causes more adverse health impact than the power generation red.

      • I first visited China in 1984. Back then, the smog from people using coal to cook food was overpowering – it hung literally right over the ground, at least in the week I was there. Daytime was as a foggy day in the San Joaquin Valley in California.
        The notion that pollution in Beijing is new, is just plain wrong.
        The difference between then and now? People have far better transport, energy access, education, and jobs. Oh, and they don’t use coal to cook with in Beijing anymore.

      • As for coal percentage used to generate electricity: a significant reason for the difference is that China is still building infrastructure.
        China’s steel output in 2013: 779 Mt
        The US’ steel production in 2013: 87 Mt
        To put these numbers in perspective: China’s steel production in 2013 was just under half of the entire world’s production. Roughly 750kg of coal is needed to produce 1000 kg of steel, so this isn’t a trivial number.
        Assuming China used around 4 billion tons of coal in 2013, the amount used just for steel production is a shade under 15%.

      • ticket, I reckon Mosher could use a map of Chinese steel mills.

      • Jim D:

        China is an example of what happens when the advocates of a clean and safe environment lose to industrial profitmaking and expansion. Their equivalent of the EPA, if such exists, has failed big-time. This is an example of where weak or no regulation leads. It’s a situation the western world was in in the 50’s an 60’s before they started to think more about clean air.

        Jim, you are not “crazy” but your assumptions I respectfully disagree with:
        1) China, under Mau and successors had the right political ideology and they, like the Stalinists, would have been successful with it had they had enough time, and had they not been corrupted and subverted by the USA.
        2) Therefore, if the world was dominated by Marxism the leaders it could enforce environmental codes without concern for profit since there would be no such thing. Everyone would be just as industrious but they would be more conscientious stewards of the planet.
        3) Because, after all, environmental codes are not the result of free peoples power to lobby their government to preserve nature, but are the result of a few very wise and caring individuals, who by Darwinistic laws naturally rise to be the leaders of totalitarian governments.

      • Capt. Dallas,
        Nice map. Indeed, a significant part of Beijing’s pollution is due to nearby steelmaking.
        I’d also note that the US was exactly in China’s position…in 1901. In that year, the US produced 40% of the entire world’s steel.
        It is easy to point fingers at China’s massive coal use when the US’ infrastructure building curve is literally 100 years in the past.

      • Ron, while I appreciate your idea of a Maoist Utopia, China is not that. The people at the top are just now starting to care about their above-average pollution because having seen that other advanced countries can have a clean environment, and now having lots of Chinese tourists going overseas and seeing that for themselves, they are embarrassed about their homeland. This is not something they cared about when they had their walled-in utopia. Caring about their environment, and now the global environment is part of being more interactive with the world which is a relatively recent phenomenon for them.

      • Ticket, “It is easy to point fingers at China’s massive coal use when the US’ infrastructure building curve is literally 100 years in the past.”

        Well, the solution is simple, outsource the dirty work to China,.. oh wait.

      • Jim D: Ron, while I appreciate your idea of a Maoist Utopia, China is not that.

        Jim, while I agree that China is neither currently a utopia nor Maoist. Where I think we differ is I disagree that there is such a thing as Maoist utopia. Shockingly, you did not see my contrarian troll approach in my comment. And you totally missed that there are no historic examples of central planning being the engine for global stewardship. Free people do that without force when open conversation leads to persuasion with effective reasoning.

      • Stewardship is a relatively recent phenomenon for air and water. It has mostly come about because science has grown to where it can link causes and effects, and the more causes and effects that are linked, the more regulations that are needed. Case in point, AGW.

    • Vegetables have vitamins, nutrients, and fiber.
      Vegetables also have carcinogens.
      It is difficult for people to conceive that vegetables are both ‘good’ and ‘bad’ for you at the same time.

      Evidently, coal is claiming lives, but at the same time has saved many more than it has taken:

      • Steven Mosher

        ya look at Peru.

        check out how much coal they use.

        Thanks for making the argument against coal better.

      • ya look at Peru.
        check out how much coal they use.
        Thanks for making the argument against coal better.

        There’s a difference – I’m arguing the factual – fewer people are dying in China and that trend is continuing while coal use continues, and there’s evidence to support that. In fact a large portion of that decline is because of coal use – the energy improves and saves lives.

        You’re arguing the counter-factual: that fewer still would die if coal use were replaced. There’s reason to that and to some level, I’d agree. And since natural gas appears to be cheaper ( or can be ), cleaner, and even emits less CO2, it would seem to be a no brainer choice for most places. But there’s not observation of your point because it remains hypothetical.

        Here are China’s infant mortality rates ( from UNICEF ). China achieved the ‘Most Favored Nation’ trading status in 2000 and the growth and coal plants followed there after. Can you see when coal was introduced?

        “Coal kills!” and “Coal saves lives!” are both true, and they are better stated without the exclamation points.

      • Steven Mosher

        Yes the factual is that Peru does not use coal.
        China does and the decrease in death is greater
        In the non coal.
        Or put another way if China cleans up their air pollution they will see more improvement.
        No one is arguing a net positive or net negative case for coal so your point addresses no one

      • ==> “Evidently, coal is claiming lives, but at the same time has saved many more than it has taken:”

        ==> ” In fact a large portion of that decline is because of coal use – the energy improves and saves lives.

        Some rather deceptive over-simplification, IMO.

        Better medical care (i.e., access to antibiotics), better nutrition, better education, and also more access to energy, saves lives.


      • You’re both ignoring that when China coal use tripled death rates went down even faster.

        The benefits of China coal use far exceeded the detriments.

        That doesn’t mean the detriments are zero.

        But it does mean that your focus on China’s coal use is demonstrably out of proportion to the benefits.

      • Curious George

        Is a population explosion still considered a problem?

      • Better medical care (i.e., access to antibiotics), better nutrition, better education, and also more access to energy, saves lives.

        Yes – those things all came directly or indirectly in part from coal use.

      • Is a population explosion still considered a problem?

        By the UN, yes.

        But UN fertility estimates ( of present TFR ) are higher than those of the CIA, who also make estimates, and those imply a falling population much sooner and a lower peak than the UN:

      • Actually to answer Mr Mosher, Peru does burn coal at Tumbes. http://www.powermag.com/peru-the-potential-to-become-a-regional-energy-hub/?pagenum=1
        However, the point was that it was the large scale electricity generation and supply to the general population that provided the impetus for much of the health improvements.
        There was a deliberate policy of promoting natural gas powered power stations because of field discoveries. Now they are expanding by large hydros on the Amazon and other river systems. Is flooding rainforest really preferable to burning coal in a modern design station?

    • “The free western world never got into that condition, because the leaders of the free world have to answer to their people. ”

      A pollution classic in western experience… It happens and there is reaction.


      • Wiki on Great Smog of 1952:

        According to the UK MetOffice, the following pollutants were emitted each day during the foggy period: 1,000 tonnes of smoke particles, 2,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide, 140 tonnes of hydrochloric acid, 14 tonnes of fluorine compounds and 370 tonnes of sulphur dioxide.

        Look at the ratios of SO2 to CO2 1:5.4. The Great Smog was mainly about super dirty, low quality coal.

        The Navajo Generating Station (NGS), a large coal fired plant in Page, Arizona, serving southern California was studied from 70s-90s for air effects in visibility and air quality, a controlled study since there was no other plants around. SO2 and acid scrubbers were added in the late 1990s, reducing SO2 by 90%, making it a clean coal plant. This improvement did little to satisfy the Sierra Club and green lobbies, who has been fighting to shut down this plant since its construction. They sued the EPA in 2014 for striking a deal with the plant’s owners for allowing the plant to escape EPA demanded shutdown by the utility’s agreement to an NO2 mitigation plan. Currently NO2 is it’s main pollutant (unless you count CO2).

        So what evil, greedy corporate interests would build and operate a dirty coal plant 12 miles from one of America’s natural treasures, the Grand Canyon? Who are they? Let’s boycott them. Right? (The NGS is actually 40+ miles as the crow flies from the northern rim but 12 miles from the Colorado River’s entrance to the National Park.) The NGS is owned by the Salt River Project, which is owned by the federal government.

      • Ron Graf – why or you all excited? The is “never” is not correct but that the western did react when it occurred. That is pretty simple. Take a deep breath.

      • Ron is not the only one that should take a deep breath.

        Ron Graf – why are you all excited? The “is never” is not correct but that the western worlddid react when it occurred is correct. That is pretty simple. Take a deep breath.

      • mwgrant,

        I think I misunderstood your original point of posting the Great Smog. I see now that you were pointing that we corrected the London smog problem. I agree that some degree of mitigation and adaptation is necessary and sensible part of navigating progress. Risk costs, but risk avoidance also costs. My point about the NGS was that the EarthJustice article neglected to mention that the NGS had cleaned up 90% of its SO2 emissions and also it was not owned by some private “evil corporation” but the federal government. Readers of the article would likely not have assumed the federal government had to battle itself (the EPA) but it happens all the time.

  3. The article on Georgia climate education said:

    “If Earth’s global mean temperature continues to rise, the lives of humans and other organisms will be affected in many different ways.”

    So how could Georgia address the subject without admitting that for the majority of Americans, if the changes were extreme, it would mean getting a climate that’s more like Georgia, without implying that that would somehow be a disaster.

  4. My favorite, “New sunspot analysis shows rising global temperatures not linked to solar activity,” suggests a continuing effort to ignore the giant fountain of energy Copernicus reported at the gravitational center of the Solar System in 1543!

    • The giant fusion ball in the sky has absolutely nothing to do with climate. It just divides the day into light and dark periods, nothing more. I bet you think your car’s dome light controls its heater and air conditioner, too.


  5. On the mine thing, it it true that the color coles mainly from iron oxide and sulfide nanoparticles that precipitate when the acidic water pH rises above 3. But that does not address the rest of the dissolved assemblage. Lead, arsenic, cadmium… The EPA has yet to release an anlysis. BUT if it were of relatively low concern, why were they mucking around there in the first place?

    • It’s still ripe with stories.

      1. About the retiree geologist who predicted the outcome in the Silverton paper a week earlier.

      2. About the Ph level of 4 that didn’t kill the fishies ( river acidification is OK? Normal is 7ish )

      3. About violating the adage: ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!”
      Chernobyl was caused by a test to prevent disasters.
      Los Alamos burned because the Forest Service had a prescribed burn.
      And the Animas spill came from prevention.

      We’ll never learn.

    • Rud,

      “BUT if it were of relatively low concern, why were they mucking around there in the first place?”

      Good question! I haven’t seen that one asked in the MSM yet.

    • “BUT if it were of relatively low concern, why were they mucking around there in the first place?”
      Because only zero risk is acceptable and because the cost of actions never counts, only the intention to clean up.

  6. On a quick read, the article on asthma is a very well designed study with all the proper safeguards and sampling techniques. I think he results are likely valid. It’s well and good except that the EPA simply doesn’t use science. They run on government policy and only use science to the extent what they have can justify what they want to do. If something in science comes along that contradicts them, they simply ignore it unless someone sues them. BTW that’s hardly the only or first study that makes the whole climate change = asthma connection pathetically inappropriate.

  7. “Fracking Chemicals Linked to Cancer, According to New Report [link]”

    We’ve been here before, and will do again. Standard chemophobic hogwash.

    The worst components and concentrations are what is being extracted from the ground, or what was already present from other sources, not what is being put in to the ground.

  8. The asthma study did not look for particulate matter levels as a predictor as other studies have, so it is not so relevant to the EPA’s concerns. It does note that some urban areas are worse than others, like in the North East and Midwest, but doesn’t speculate on why. A missing factor, perhaps. The broader geographic distribution of asthma should be a clue.

    • Jim D, I like the idea that my best friends also protected my babies respiratory systems.

      Children’s risk for developing allergies and asthma is reduced when they are exposed in early infancy to a dog in the household, and now researchers have discovered a reason why here.

      Exposure of mice to dust from houses where canine pets are permitted both indoors and outdoors can reshape the community of microbes that live in the mouse gut — collectively known as the gastrointestinal microbiome — and also diminish immune system reactivity to common allergens…

    • Read your Lomborg.

      Indoor air quality is more and more worse than outdoor air quality.

      And people spend more and more time indoors.

    • The North East usually shows up on asthma prevalence maps like this.

    • Working with a finer resolution of data than the state aggregates gets interesting…

      The finding of the paper below looking at NYS data was

      We found significant associations between exposure to modeled SO2 and PM2.5 with asthma prevalence rate in New York State, USA. Asthma prevalence among the residents was closely associated with the exposure of PM2.5 followed by SO2.

      The paper also discusses limitations encountered.


  9. Georgia is not teaching alarmist consensus junk climate science in schools.
    That is wonderful and right.

    • Maybe the Georgia authorities feel that if the kids need saturation in the New Creationism (that where man creates the climate) they can just read Time, the WaPo, NYT, HuffPo etc at home. Or turn on the TV. Hell, even the Jehovah’s Witness who comes knocking will give them an earful on climate sinnin’.

      • richardswarthout


        Georgia is not the backward swamp so often imagined by those not familiar with the southeast USA.



    • David Wojick

      The Georgia story is way behind the times. The NAS alarmism has been translated into the so-called Next Generation Science Standards, which most states are adopting. Climate alarmism is indeed taught in 5th grade, if not sooner. See http://www.nextgenscience.org/. Georgia may well be adopting them but it takes years to change the lesson plans and teaching materials.

    • A Georgia school district has tried to soften evolution teaching too by putting evolution-is-a-theory stickers in biology textbooks. They lost this case.

      • JimD, Since man came on the scene which do you think is more dominant, evolution or selective breeding?

      • Curious George

        Evolution is surely not a theory, according to courts. Examples of theories: Number theory. Newton’s gravity theory. Relativity theory. Big Bang theory.

      • It’s more a fact than a theory.

      • Jim D, Up until 10 years ago the whole state of Pennsylvania was teaching intelligent design along side evolution. PA liberal leaning state with a Democrat governor. Although I find it hard to understand how one could honestly dispute evolution, the caution in my mind about bias is not related to a single group of people, but to anyone who thinks their group is immune.

        From my perspective I agree with creationist that spontaneous life, Earth and the universe are barely comprehensible. On the other hand, there is overwhelming evidence of it. I see CAGW as driven partly be religiosity (ideology and conformity to it). In addition, I see the evolution of technological civilization extrapolating beyond most people’s imagination. I see many non-“religious” people gathering their beliefs about future generations by not thinking about it all that much, and at the same time, accusing others (they see as religious) of that same thing.

        I visited Anders’ site this week to comment on his post on a Matt Ridley article about filters for the success advanced civilizations to exist in the universe. Ridley, summoning Enrico Fermi’s famous quote during a private UFO discussion at Los Alamos, asked, “Where is everybody?” I was not all that surprised that most on the Anders string, including Steven, believed space exploration was a waste of money, that civilization is not changing all that much into the next century, etc… They could not foresee unforeseeable inventions or changes in society. I suspected warmers are not really futurists any more than bible fundamentalists are. I feel Elon Musk is a futurist but he will barely admit it. It’s not PC today as it was in the 1960s. I feel like a relic.

      • It’s more a fact than a theory.

        Actually, it’s a cluster of related theories, most of which have been more-or-less discredited. That cluster includes all the scientifically accepted explanations for the current state of life on earth.

        It’s instructive to note the statement on the sticker that was prohibited:

        […] Evolution is a theory, not a fact, regarding the origin of living things. […]

        It specifically states that evolution “is […] not a fact”. This is a clear establishment of religion. A statement more in line with science might be

        […] Evolution is a theory, not known for certain to be a fact, regarding the origin of living things. […]

        My guess is that would have flown, it’s certainly much more in line with real science than “evolution is true.

  10. There’s a large El Nino starting, but you wouldn’t know it by RSS or UAH where the Pacific equator is still showing no sign. Are people asking questions about the missing El Nino there yet? Their measurement method is starting to look a bit dubious.

    • I was looking at this today.

      However, if it were the analysis, it would beg an explanation of why the MSU response for the 97-98 El Nino was so much greater than either land or ocean while this event hasn’t ( so far ) exhibited a big response.

      More likely, it just reflects variation of El Ninos which appear to be very different from one another.

      • Yes, past indications are that RSS and UAH overcooked the 1998 El Nino which was the left pillar of their pause, so what is happening this time?

      • David Wojick

        UAH also shows no warming from 1978 to 1997. All pause?

      • So, lets compare the anomalies.
        Remember that the base periods are not the same which effects what the anomalies are ( versus trends ). In particular, there’s been a long term ( since 1979 ) cooling trend in the Tropical Eastern Pacific.

        Features that seem to show up in both:
        * the blob in the NE Pacific
        * the minimum in the North Atlantic
        * the minima in Northern Europe
        * the maxima in Southern Europe
        * the maxima in Central and Northern Asia
        * the maxima in the Southern Atlantic
        * the minima around Antarctica

        But as we observe, the maxima in the ENSO active Equatorial Eastern Pacific does not appear in the MSU data.


        Well, deep convection is the transmission mechanism for vertical heat transfer in the tropics. Absent deep convection, upper and lower troposphere can have different anomalies. The tropics above the boundary layer have ‘unconditional stability’ ( meaning lifting anything but the surface layer will immediately resist rising and return to original level ). Therefore, the deep convection of the tropics is dependent on convergence of the lowest layer, which is ‘conditionally unstable’, to create the thunderstorms which vent the lower anomalies.

        The ITCZ is, on average, in the Northern Hemisphere year round. But it does wander southward in winter and northward in summer as Northern cold air mass formation fluctuates with the seasons. And remember, ‘El Nino’ means Christ because the fisherman observed its effects around Christmas, so wait another four months to see if the Upper and Lower temperature anomalies match more closely. For now, there is little convection in this region, which explains why it may not be appearing in the MSU:

        One other thing. Normally, in the Eastern Pacific, the ITCZ is narrow and all in the Northern Hemisphere. But during the 97/98 event, there did appear to be, for a few months, a split ITCZ, which is something that seems to happen in the Western Pacific annually. This split may reflect the increase in the ‘conditional instability’ caused by the increase in SST with the event. It will be something to watch for.

      • You can make the base periods the same. Here is GISTEMP with a 1981-2010 base period. But, yes, the difference is that the equatorial Pacific has La Nada instead of the actual El Nino. This is why for that satellite-only community, the pause continues.

      • Turbulent Eddie: So, lets compare the anomalies.

        Good post, one of several good posts today. Thank you.

      • when ONI exceeds 1.0/-1.0, the blind satellites will suddenly have big eyes,

        Then they will go completely blind again. They are approaching worthless at measuring the surface of the earth.

      • Every one is unique. This one doesn’t seem to be transferring sensible heat to the atmosphere as much at the moment. Or it must isn’t going where we look, like into the arctic.

    • Curious George

      Is El Nino weather or climate? Did climate models predict it for 2015?

      • This is related to the length of the pause, even though arguably that is not really climate either.

      • Isaac Held has an example model which invokes a standing wave pattern:

        When El Nino became a buzzword, there was another buzzword that went with it: “Teleconnections”

        People identified the tropical Pacific anomaly for which the event is named and imagined that the anomaly ‘teleconnected’ out to all the other events with which ENSOs are statistically associated: fewer Atlantic hurricanes ( none this year – did I jinx it? ) precip patterns, etc. etc.

        But Teleconnections sounds far to similar to another made up phenomena from the 1970s: telekinesis.

        Rather than teleconnections, the simple idea that El Ninos just represent variations in the wave patterns seems much more complete without need to invoke unknown transmission mechanisms. That also explains why, when you examine the actual anomalies from ENSO cases, the anomalies are quite variable, not matching the idealized patterns. SW US and Australia do seem to have higher correlations, but a lot of variability elsewhere.

        That all means ENSO events and even the frequency of ENSO events over any time scale are not predictable.

  11. “IF global warming really did pause, the planet just pressed ‘play’ again”

    Against my better judgment I followed the link. What a hot mess, almost literally. Love the map of the earth, 99 percent of it in lurid pinks.

  12. “So essentially, children growing up in Georgia do not learn about climate change at all unless they are given the opportunity to take an elective oceanography class in high school.”

    “it’s particularly startling to see a state like Georgia – where top notch scientific institutions like Georgia Tech and the CDC are located – ignoring national standards so blatantly. ”

    Local school districts adopt their own variations and additions to the state guidance. My county, for instance, uses “common core”. It should be “particularly startling” to find poorly researched rubbish such as this in the media, but the reality is that it is all too common.

  13. An interview with @CassSunstein: From #groupthink to collective intelligence. [link]

    Ok, lets shred this one. Pretty straightforward how this relates to climate consensus.

    Its an old pig with not so new lipstick. Our sage dances for a few pages before laying out his point:

    “So if there’s a forecasting problem where you don’t have the data you need, or you have data which has murkiness in it, probably the best bet is not to go to the number-one person in the company or the world. Rather get the 20 or so best people in the company or the world—it could be a larger number—and ask them all what they think. And then take the median or average answer. It’s probably the best you can do.”

    Uh huh.

    This is not Western culture.

    Ill let Orwell do the shredding:

    “It cannot be said too often – at any rate, it is not being said nearly often enough – that collectivism is not inherently democratic, but, on the contrary, gives to a tyrannical minority such powers as the Spanish Inquisitors never dreamt of.[8]”

    Kevin MacDonald has a book on the origins of this thinking.

    And where it leads:

    Affirmative consent: the new campus totalitarianism [link]

    • A rather excellent critique of consensus thinking in an entirely different setting:
      “Just as the appeal to consensus stresses people over logic, subsequent debate will also focus on the merits of individuals and their worthiness to be included or excluded from the conversation. ”

    • Sunstein needs to read Wisdom of Crowds.

    • More Cass scariness:

      Free Speech Now:

      “Perhaps we need a New Deal for speech…”

      “I do mean to say that in some circumstances, what seems to be government regulation of speech actually might promote free speech, and should not be treated as an abridgment at all.”

      “Second, the idea that government should be neutral among all forms of speech seems correct in the abstract…..The difficulty with this conception of neutrality is that it takes existing distributions of resources and opportunities as the baseline for decision”

      “Free markets in expression are sometimes ill-adapted to the American revision of the principle of sovereignty. If we are to realize that principle, a New Deal for speech, of the sort outlined above, would be highly desirable.”

      “The conception of free speech in any decade of American history is often quite different from the conception twenty years before or after.”

      “First, some forms of apparent government intervention into free speech processes can actually improve those processes.”

      Essentially he wants to enact Herbert Marcuse’s Repressive Tolerance.


      “That’s right, Obama’s information czar wants to tax or ban outright, as in make illegal, political opinions that the government doesn’t approve of. To where would this be extended? A tax or a shut down order on newspapers that print stories critical of our illustrious leaders?”


      This man would label climate denial a conspiracy theory and make it illegal to discuss. These type of academics will continue to chip away at the first amendment, and, undoubtedly will eventual erode it until we have laws like Europe that prohibit free discussion.

      Wisdom of the crowds indeed.

    • “In a recent book, Sunstein proposes that government recognition of marriage be discontinued. “Under our proposal, the word marriage would no longer appear in any laws, and marriage licenses would no longer be offered or recognized by any level of government,”


      I would highly suggest that anyone who picks up a book with some radical new theory (about anything) take time and due diligence to discover exactly who the author is and what kind of bizarre worldview they REALLY are pushing.

  14. I’m waiting by the computer for this story:

    Global Warming Hoax Ended, Warmers Get Real Jobs.


  15. Seeing Struggling Math Learners as ‘Sense Makers,’ Not ‘Mistake Makers’ [link]

    Sure. Another way to avoid teaching proficiency and mastery of mathematics. Sooner or later, and the sooner the better, students have to practice to mastery and build on that mastery by practicing toward more mastery.

    Better than the Koenigsberg bridge problem is the classic “proof” that all triangles are isoceles triangles.

  16. This is my latest climate solar assessment with give and take with Willis ,on the WUWT web-site.

    A quote from Willis, which is excellent.

    Any natural regulatory system has bounds on the variations it can control, and there are events that could alter or destroy the regulation.

    Second quote from Willis which is excellent.

    Willis- The sun has no effect whatsoever on climate you are correct I apologize also to L svaalgard

    Willis says below
    Eliza, I have never said that, nor anything even remotely resembling that. Those are YOUR WORDS, not mine.

    I have to apologize to Willis for not listening to him carefully enough because if one really listens to what he is saying he is opened to solar, while also saying there are events that can destroy or alter the natural regulatory system of the climate.

    So I have a starting point with Willis , which at one time I thought I did not have.

    Another point we agree on is if the sun varies enough it will have an impact on the climate. Everyone submits to this ,the disagreement however, is not if solar variation will change the climate but does the sun vary enough to accomplish this?

    This leads to my argument with Willis , which is the so called 11 year sunspot normal cycle is not where one is going to be able to find solar/climate connections, because the EXTREMES in solar activity are not strong enough in degree of magnitude or long enough in duration of time to have a climate effect. In addition the 11 year cycle going from weak to strong sunspot activity cancels the climate effect it may have before any significant impact could come about.

    In other words thresholds can not be reached in the climate system due to these 11 year variations in solar activity. This is the wrong place to look if one wants to find a solar climate connection.

    The place to look is when the sun enters an extreme period of prolonged minimum solar quiet and when one looks at these periods the data does show a climate/solar correlation to one degree or another.
    The problem is there are other factors superimposed upon even this extreme solar variability which although keeps the lower global average temperature trend in place there are periods of rising temperatures within the overall lower temperature trend.

    Why ? Because within any global temperature trend initiated by solar variability one has to take into account the following factors;

    1. all solar minimum differ as was the case recently with the 1996 solar minimum versus the 2008-2010 solar lull, which effects the climate in a different manner..

    2. the stage of where earth is in respect to Milankovitch Cycles is either going to work in concert or against the current trend the solar variability is exerting upon the climate. Right now I would say Milankovitch Cycles are on balance acting in concert with minimum prolonged solar activity.

    3. the geo magnetic field can enhance given solar activity effects or diminish given solar activity effects upon the climate. A weaker field compounding given solar effects.

    4. land /ocean arrangements and elevations. Right now acting in concert with reduced solar activity very favorable for cooling.

    5. the ice dynamic/snow cover which when at a critical stage can enhance or diminish the solar impacts. Right now not that favorable.

    6. the rogue terrestrial event such as a super volcanic eruption or the rogue extra terrestrial event such as an impact could turn things upside down in the climate system.

    7. this being very important which is the elusive thresholds which I think are out there but I do not know what degree of solar extremes are needed to bring them about, but there must be solar extremes that will bring them about. This is also probably tied into the initial state of the climate , for example point 5, which is to say just how far is the climate system of the earth from that inter –glacial/glacial threshold at the time the prolonged minimum solar conditions commence, which I think go a long way in the climatic effect the given solar variability will have upon the climate. .

    8. the normal earth intrinsic climate factors which superimpose themselves upon the big general climatic trend regardless if they are associated directly with given solar activity or not.

    9. Lunar input- which could possibly enhance or diminish given solar activity.

    My best guess based on the historical climatic record is the solar extremes needed to have a clear climatic impact and not one that is obscured have to be slightly less then quote so called normal 11 year sunspot minimums but more importantly the duration of time has to be longer.

    Once this is in when combined with the points in the above the climate result should come about, with the exception if point 6 were to take place.

    Possible important (some) secondary effects due to solar activity which in turn can moderate the climate.

    cosmic ray change moderates cloud coverage.

    ozone changes moderates atmospheric circulation atmospheric.

    geological activity moderation.

    Any natural regulatory system has bounds on the variations it can control, and there are events that could alter or destroy the regulation.

    Willis statement above one more time.

    Willis says there are events that could destroy or alter this regulation my question to him is what are the most likely events that can accomplish this?

    I am curious to know because so far on balance although he has not closed the door on anything to be fair, I have never heard Willis embrace any one particular item but that might be because it is elusive to him given the studies and research he has done.

    Nevertheless Willis, admits one thing or combination of things is out there that does have the ability to alter or destroy the climatic regulation.

    For my part I think I am on the correct path through the process of elimination if nothing else and another point which favors an extra- terrestrial event governing effect upon the climate to some degree is the semi cyclic nature of the climatic system of the earth.

    It is very hard to believe that random, chaotic earth bond intrinsic events in a system that is non linear to add insult to injury can somehow change over time in such a way to result in a semi cyclic beat to the climate. It seems highly unlikely.

    Today is an example of how sunspot activity is deceiving when it comes to solar effects.

    The sun is almost spotless yet we have coronal holes producing a significant geomagnetic storm.

    For dramatic climatic events the solar wind /geo magnetic activity has to be low, in addition to sunspot activity. Sunspot activity does not tell the whole story, and coronal hole effects can linger well after sunspot activity has diminished. This is why duration of time is key in regards to solar minimum activity , not to mention the inherent lag in the climate system due to the oceans..

  17. Sense Makers:
    “Mathematics is the art of explanation.”
    Not what is true, why is it true? I am right, why am I right?
    I am right, lacking an explanation of why I am right is simply an assertion.
    Explaining is teaching. Many of us teach in some form.
    I don’t tell my clients I am right, take it or leave it. I explain why I think I am right.
    Is Climate Science the art of explanation?

    • You need words to explain anything. Maths is merely symbols and calculations. When the maths gets complicated, e.g. in particle physics, the words just muddy the waters as people take them literally instead of as very approximate analogies.

    • Language is composed of mere symbols.

  18. Why do people believe conspiracy theories? Because they have ample proof than governments and news media lie all the time. This is what happens when people and institutions work non-stop to destroy their own credibility.

    They know the government lied about nutrition science and cholestrol, lied about GRIDS/AIDS, and lied about 2d hand smoke. Note — lied. Purposefully and deliberately lied. And that’s just science, which ought to be pretty straightforward.

    When the president and other top government officials lie constantly about everything, and when national news organizations are routinely exposed for pushing falsehoods and withholding news, why wouldn’t people accept theories which involve the government and news media lying to them?

  19. To anyone following the sunspot story, Nir Shaviv responds to Willis Eschenbach’s critique

    • The most important part of that article to me was:

      To begin with, as Brandon Shollenberger commented in the comments section of that article, the use of harmonic analysis cannot be deception as we have specifically wrote in the paper what we are carrying out this analysis and why. A deception would be carrying out one analysis and writing that we did another.

      And as Nir Shaviv points out later:

      Given that we explained how and why we carried out the fit using a harmonic analysis, we did not deceive anyone. Writing that we did is libelous.

      I don’t comment much at Watts Up With That, but that post was so dumbfounding I had to speak up. It is just ridiculous to accuse the authors of being deceptive for doing something they clearly said they did, I wound up writing a post about it too because, this isn’t a one-time kind of thing. Anthony Watts did the same sort of thing with the recent “pause-busting” paper by the NOAA, though there he at least did it privately.

      I don’t get why the Watts Up With That crowd seems to think it is okay to accuse people of lying based upon basically nothing. I get they may not like the work some people do, but that doesn’t mean it is okay to make libelous accusations. And it’s not just random commenters, but important figures there. Some leading members of the skeptic movement, at least within the blogosphere, seem fine with making comments that could reasonably warrant lawsuits.

      I get people oppose Michael Mann’s lawsuit of Mark Steyn, but it’s a lot harder to paint skeptics as the innocent victims when such big names go around saying things that would make your average person say, “Yeah, I’d be fine with you being sued for saying that.”

      • Brandon , are you in agreement with me on the post I am sending in reply to you (below) and the post I sent over this web-site at 4:16pm Aug.15?

        Just curious, thanks.

        As I read the various post I have come across one common denominator which is everyone is trying to come up with a one item cause and effect for the explanation as to how the climate may change.

        If one looks at my post sent at 8:49 am Aug 15 , I showed all the different factors that are involved that play a role in why/how the climate may change to one degree or another.

        Milankovitch Cycles are definitely in the mix and like solar variability how effective they are or not depends on the 9 other points I had presented in my post sent at 8:49 am Aug 15.

        For example why did Milankovitch Cycles only start to cause inter-glacial /glacial cycles for only the past 2.5 million years or so and not prior to this time?

        The reason most likely was the land/ocean arrangements and the initial state of the climate being far from the glacial/inter glacial threshold.

        It was not because Milankovitch Cycles did not play a role in the climate back then as they do now , but the role they played was obscured by other factors not acting in concert with the Milankovitch Cycles.

        This is the point I keep trying to make (mostly in vain), that it is a combination of factors that have to phase in the right way, at the right time to give that big climatic impact and why many times when one item is being used to be associated with the cause as to why the climate changed gets lost in noise and or gets obscured. The reality being however, it does still play a role but is being obscured by other forces at play at the same time.

        This is why it is so easy to say this item or that item does not play a role in how the climate changes and why it is so hard to show the link between an x item changing and the climate changing.

    • Brandon

      After reading the back and forth between you and Willis, I thought you made the much more compelling case.

  20. The future of science will soon be upon us: implications for research publication and funding [link]

    There’s a loss with losing or weakening the peer review process. Right now very little has any check for accountability and accuracy save for more rhetoric and claims, and voting by popularity.

    Peer review is imperfect, but it at least attempts to differentiate between, say, this comment (or a longer one posted on a blog or made to look like official research) and one by which the accuracy has been checked in some sort of objective fashion.

    Not coincidentally, almost no peer reviewed papers support the idea that man isn’t likely relevantly altering our climate or creating a high risk range of significant to major/radical future patterns.

    It’s exceptionally easy (and incredibly common) to make the claims, far harder to back up in a way that doesn’t just appeal mainly to those who already have the same view or belief, or want to have the same view, or unknowingly exploit huge logical fallacies in our own system of thinking.

    One such paper was by Roy Spencer, who belongs to a group that believes a higher being (and not the physics any such higher being likely “created”) micromanages climate for us, and views his job to “protect taxpayers from government.” [His words]. And thus tries to find arguments to support less need for collective response (whether through government or some sort of intelligent policy to help use markets more efficicently and proactively.) A remarkable conflict for a scientist simply trying to determine what is, in the physical world.

    His paper was inane. The editor who resigned over it – from an off topic journal (remote sensing), so he wasn’t originally familiar with the subject matter – ultimately said it bordered on fraud. It took an effect of climate and simply reversed causative assumption, with no reasoning or logic. Namely, climate change was “less” because “water vapor was driving it.” That’s almost as inane, but slightly more sophisticated, than saying “climate change is less because more heat is driving it.”

    Water vapor is ephemeral, and a response to evaporative conditions, and part of climate. Climate drives it, and climate change would impact it. In what average direction is not completely clear, but so far it appears upward (as would seem to make sense, more heat more evaporation, but it’s not completely predictable). If not upward the attendant loss of water vapor in an atmosphere that was already able to hold a lot more of it for longer periods of time and increasingly shift precipition patterns and increasing intensities, might even be worse, by greatly amplifying possibly the worst effect of climate change – the potential for increased drought in regions not used to it and dependent upon more (and different patterns of) rainfall.

    Another, also rare, and more recent one, is very well covered here, as part of a rather remarkable broader pattern, – a pattern that in many (but not all) ways this site and its proprietor help foster under the belief of objective logic and questioning groupthink, when – while the latter needs to be done – what’s done here isn’t anything of the sort.

    • A, “His paper was inane. The editor who resigned over it – from an off topic journal (remote sensing), so he wasn’t originally familiar with the subject matter – ultimately said it bordered on fraud. It took an effect of climate and simply reversed causative assumption, with no reasoning or logic.”

      Interesting Remote Sensing Definition – noun
      the scanning of the earth by satellite or high-flying aircraft in order to obtain information about it.

      I don’t recall a Journal of Balloon Velocity Thermometry.

      • Here’s the Journal, if you are interested in it: http://www.mdpi.com/journal/remotesensing

      • A, You missed the joke.

        The S&B remote sensing paper was a rebuttal of Dessler rebuttal of S&B paper discussing the difficultly of determining “cause” as in forcing or feedback.

        “The point of the paper was vapor as a driver of rather than response to climate. You can make up a different reality if you want (as skeptics obv do).”

        In actuality the vapor, water vapor to be more accurate, can take on a regulating role,. If water vapor response, which would include cloud response, increased SW absorption in the atmosphere and enhanced deep convection, can switch from a positive feedback to a negative feedback it would appear to “behave as” a forcing, as in water vapor could drive climate in the other direction.

        In a just world, none of the rebuttals would have been published in anything other than the original journal that started the ‘buttal process.

    • Your description of this paper and the journal editor’s resignation are both wrong. Yes, the paper was flawed. Yes, the editor resigned. But none of the rest of the story is as you assert. See that example (with multiple references) in ebook The Arts of Truth. Stop your untruths.

      • No it’s not. You can search the Internet, particularly on climate change, as is the whole point here, to find something to perpetuate your beliefs.

        The point of the paper was vapor as a driver of rather than response to climate. You can make up a different reality if you want (as skeptics obv do).

        As for the resignation, the editor himself, his words, toned down for science journal speak: http://www.mdpi.com/2072-4292/3/9/2002

      • Discussions here arne’t discussinos when anyting is brought up that conflicts with climate change skepticism

        They are what climate change skepticism is. Advocacy to fit things into that skepticism conclusion.

        Pattern is well illustrated, even almost caricatured (except it’s all real), here: https://climatesolutionsandanalysis.wordpress.com/2015/08/15/the-psychosocio-cultural-phenomenon-of-climate-change-skepticism/

      • And while rampant misinformation is okay on this site, you see a comment you don’t like because it is pretty logical and supported and yet paints a picture different from the one you want to believe, and you personalize it, and write “Stop your untruths.”

        What you really mean – but what’s scary is you don’t even realize it – is”stop your statements and analysis that conflict with MY BELIEF”

        Hence the irony of the phrase “climate change skepticism.”

        But that’s exactly why, in large part, the phrase was chosen. To self convince of the opposite.

        “Simple skepticism over this cockamamie idea that mankind is relevantly changing our climate.” Not unwillingness to accept or objectively consider the notion, while warmly, and VERY UNskeptically, embracing nearly any notion, claim or assertion that helps support the belief that mankind somehow isn’t, despite basic physics, despite the geologic record, despite common sense, despite what nearly every climate scientist who professionally studies the issue says, and despite even a pattern of corroborating signs and evidence of beginning change

        In large part, this: http://www.skepticalscience.com/Ask-Me-Anything-Climate-Science-Denial.html

      • A troll who believes in brevity, in name only.

      • As for the resignation, the editor himself, his words, toned down for science journal speak: http://www.mdpi.com/2072-4292/3/9/2002

        Indeed they do! And I can only express the utmost c0ntempt for you, and anybody else incapable of reading between the lines of that document.

      • stevenreincarnated

        A, if the argument is that water vapor can change without a change in temperature and that the water vapor from that change can then warm the world, then it is a reasonable argument.


    • An analysis of the controversy.



      22 PPM = 0.2 W m-2 ±0.06 W m−2

      This is Fco2 = 3.46 ln (C/C0) or the computed CO2 effect from radiative forcing models with about 35% negative feedback (the radiative forcing should be 54% higher). The IPCC TCR for 22 PPM is 0.61 W m-2. It is three times too high.

      Spencer’s paper was interpreted as arguing indirectly that cloud feedback was negative and the model sensitivity was too high.

      The feedback is provably negative and the model sensitivity is provably way too high. Empirical measurement in the real world trumps models. Period.

      .It is game, set, and match to the skeptics on low GHG climate sensitivity, Dressler is factually wrong about feedback since if the 35% feedback doesn’t come from clouds he has to invent another mechanism to provide negative feedback as well as offset his positive cloud feedback and options are pretty limited.

      There is some debate about Spencer’s methodology, The Dressler/Spencer debate seems to involve arguments about model cherry picking. The Dressler/Spencer debate may perhaps best be solved in a cherry orchard. It is hard to eat cherries and stay mad at people.

      The actual Spencer and Braswell 2011 paper includes relatively modest claims:
      “We hypothesize that changes in the coupled ocean-atmosphere circulation during the El Niño and La Niña phases of ENSO cause differing changes in cloud cover, which then modulate the radiative balance of the climate system. “

      There is nothing in the Spencer and Braswell 2011 paper that should have led to the “attack by rabid animals” response from global warmers.

      • blueice2hotsea

        This is Fco2 = 3.46 ln (C/C0)

        Yes. If it holds, observed ΔF(2xCO2) is 2.4 W/m2 vs 3.7 W/m2 per radiative transfer models.

        TCR dramatically decreases if that observed ΔF(2xCO2) is substituted for modeled in: Tung, et al 2008 Constraining model transient climate response using independent observations of solar-cycle forcing and response. And the recalculated TCR range has dramatically better alignment with the spread of TCRs in AR4 AOGCMs.

        However, λ, the climate sensitivity parameter is inversely proportional to ΔF, so one would not expect TCR to decrease(!) for direct calculations, no?

      • The IPCC numbers:
        Fco2 = 5.35 ln (C/Co).or 3.71 W/m2 or 1°C (more or less).
        The TSR is basically 2x Fco2 or 7.42 W/m2 or 2°C (more or less).
        The ECS is basically 3x Fco2 or 11.12 W/m2 or 3.01 W/m2 (more or less).
        The ECS was originally arrived at by combining an somewhat reasonable 2°C model with a quality challenged Hansen 4°C model and dividing by 2.

        Now the Fco2 is the instantaneous change. The TCR should be applicable over longer periods and the ECS is used for century or longer time periods.

        For coupled atmosphere-ocean global climate models (e.g. CMIP5) the climate sensitivity is an emergent property: it is not a model parameter, but rather a result of a combination of model physics and parameters. By contrast, simpler energy-balance models may have climate sensitivity as an explicit parameter.

        ΔTs = λ* RF

        Equilibrium climate sensitivity
        The �equilibrium climate sensitivity� (IPCC 1990, 1996) is defined as the change in global mean temperature, T2x, that results when the climate system, or a climate model, attains a new equilibrium with the forcing change F2x resulting from a doubling of the atmospheric CO2 concentration. For this new equilibrium dH/dt = 0 in the simple heat budget equation and F2x = T2x indicating a balance between energy input and output. The equilibrium climate sensitivity

        T2x = F2x/α

        To me it looks like they wave their hands, release magic smoke, then multiply the CO2 modeled forcing by 3 when you aren’t looking to get the ECS.

        Their range of allowable parameters permit feedback to exceed positive 1 at the high end so I am pretty sure they don’t know what they are doing.

      • blueice2hotsea

        I will try to restate my point more clearly.

        TCR will not necessarily be reduced even though in the paper you referenced observed forcing from CO2 is lower than derived from radiative transfer models and even though I gave an actual example where calculated TCR decreases.

        Depending upon calculation methodology, forcing isn’t relevant:

        e.g. TCR = (T-T0) * ln 2 / ln(C/C0)

        Note: this observed TCR may or may not be comparable to GCM TCR due to 70 yr doubling time CO2 is not controlled.

      • blueice2hotsea

        …forcing isn’t relevant

        Erm, the value of the forcing isn’t relevant.

      • blue, “However, λ, the climate sensitivity parameter is inversely proportional to ΔF, so one would not expect TCR to decrease(!) for direct calculations, no?”

        Lambda is the sum of a number of feedbacks with glacial area being a big one. As glacial area decreases lambda would decrease significantly. That is just one example. I am not sure why you wouldn’t expect TCR not to decrease other than not considering the actual factors involved in lambda.

      • blueice2hotsea

        captdallas2 0.8 +/- 0.3

        I am not sure why you wouldn’t expect TCR not to decrease other than not considering the actual factors involved in lambda.

        My conversation with PA concerned the impact to TCR after recalculation with observed CO2 forcing, per his referenced paper.

        The IPCC’s definition of the climate sensitivity parameter is:

        λ = ΔTs / ΔF.

        It is usually assumed to be invariant within a given model for a wide range of radiative perturbations. Going along with the assumption that it is a constant, a first order approximation of λ ought be calculable using the observed CO2 forcing.

        But, if TCR = λ * ΔF(2xCO2), it’s a wash because λ is scaled up by the same factor as ΔF(2xCO2) is scaled down.

      • blue, Isn’t the invariant assumption based on a “small” change with small not being all that well defined? Originally, the no feedback sensitivity was estimated at 1.5 C per doubling and now is in the 1-1.2 C per doubling range. I have never seen a good explanation why that changed, but if you base sensitivity on the last glacial maximum we would be at the high end of that “small” range.

      • blueice2hotsea

        Good points, Cap’n.

        Lambda is a complex nonlinear transfer function. The assumptions of constancy, linearity and invariance are made for convenience. Reality is better modeled like this:

        λ = Σ ΔTs(i) / Σ ΔF(i), i = 1 to N.

        So, what happens to modeled Lambda if observed CO2 forcing is substituted for modeled CO2 forcing? Only the CO2 forcing term changes, e.g. not Saharan albedo – albedo is what it is.

        ∴ TCR(observed CO2) ≤ TCR(modeled CO2)

        I this answer better. Thanks.

      • blueice2hotsea

        PA & Cap’n


        In the case for more complex Lambda:

        TCR(observed CO2) < TCR(modeled CO2)

        However, TCR does not decrease by the same fraction as does observed CO2 forcing vs modeled forcing.

    • AK Your response is zealotry. You don’t like these points, or want to consider them: They conflict with what you want to believe. That threatens you. So what do you do? You have “contempt” https://judithcurry.com/2015/08/14/week-in-review-science-edition-17/#comment-725121 for those who don’t share what you believe.

      Let alone the right of others to have different views. Let alone the fact that your view is not only poorly supported by the relevant evidence (which obviously, and reinforced here, you don’t want to see) but unsupported by about 98% of actual climate scientists.

      So for agreement with them, not simply because they think or know what they do, but for the reasons why, as well, you have “contempt.”

      And you do that because you don’t want to consider the reality of this: https://judithcurry.com/2015/08/14/week-in-review-science-edition-17/#comment-725064 because it conflicts with what you believe. What you want to believe.

      And so instead of understanding different views, views that don’t share your convenient cherry picked “between the lines” subjective interpretation (let alone the fact that the paper itself in the eyes of most climate scientists did have fundamental error and false claim, and was somewhat inane) you find ways to dismiss it, to dismiss the credibility, to dismiss the points in a way that stays consistent with your beliefs.

      Belief, ironically, that is the very opposite if its namesake. “Climate change ‘skepticism.”

      Contempt, because I don’t share your subjective “between the lines” interpretation of the editor of a Journal, regarding an extremely BAD paper, saying it had fundamental error and false claims, is sick;

      That’s all fine for Judy Curry though. Skeptics can engage in any outrageous assertions, insults or personal attacks.bThat’s all part of debate and discussion.

      But, on the other hand, let a climate change advocate engage in something one quarter as bad, and Curry will be off writing a post about totalitarianism, groupthink, quashing of debate, stifilng dissent, punishing people for views, imposing one’s will, intolerance, or what have you, on that person if not almost the entire climate science community.

      You have contempt.

      And that is zealotry, and fanatacism. It’s apparently what you need to be a skeptic. Or perhaps irt is why you are a skeptic. Far right wing, right? Have a minor background in science adn think you’re smart, right?


      • I have contempt for intellectual hooliganism, and those like you who foster it.

      • Can’t there be an edit function or something on these comments. I had Some crap at the bottom of the (sloppily) written in frustration, and when checked before hitting post comment it was completely hidden under the page. It’s not part of the comment, it’s not supposed to be there, and can’t even undo it b/c there apparently isn’t a delete or undo function for even a few moments after a comment.

        Oh well, my bad, apologies. Rest of comment still stands. Feeling or illustrating contempt for someone who doesn’t share the far right wing conspiracy theory “between the lines” “interpretation” that the editor of a journal who wrote in his journal that a paper he VOLUNTARILY chose to resign over had “fundamental error” and “false claims” (both of which the paper did)… is pretty messed up.

        Let alone that it’s secondary to the primary point that the paper itself, in order to support the author’s ideological beliefs, took a response to climate and made it a driver with no explanation as to why, and in contravention of basic understanding.

      • apologies, no edit function for wordpress.com

      • The whole 98% meme is anti-science.

      • “98% meme anti science” is more b.s. rhetoric.

        It’s no more anti science than saying “most cardiologists agree that taking a quarter of aspirin a day lowers cardiovascular risk.” that’s what most cardiologists agree on, right or wrong, but it’s very relevant to note. If they are wrong, show why.

        It’s only skeptic zealotry that triees to turn almost everything into someting that it’s not, that creates this claim.

        And the fact that the great majority of climate scientists disagree with skeptics is inconvenient.

        And except for cherry picking, misconstructing the issue, and impuging climate scientists, there hasn’t really been any cohesive theory offered as to why this particular consensus is wrong.

        Of course skeptics convince themselves otherwise. To keep the belief we’re not much impacting earth. Which is what the highly misnamed agw skepticism is.

        Reinforced by beliefs like ‘98% meme” is anti science” in response to a simple statement of what the consensus is. http://www.forbes.com/sites/toddessig/2011/11/26/climategate-gate-the-dangerous-psychology-of-ongoing-climate-change-denial/

      • AK continues. https://judithcurry.com/2015/08/14/week-in-review-science-edition-17/#comment-725298

        “Intellectual hooliganism” being the very same thing. Things that conflict with his belief. Calling things that probably represent about a 15 fold better understanding (and objective, non political, non ideological, assessment) of the scientific issue “intellectual hooliganism” https://judithcurry.com/2015/08/14/week-in-review-science-edition-17/#comment-725298.

        Because he knows better, and almost all climate scientists who professionally study this issue don’t. Pointing out fundamental errors in the VERY rare few papers that significantly lessened the relevance of man’s impact on the climate – since AK wants to believe in that lessened relevance – that’s “intellectual hooliganism.” A great parlor trick to ignore the reality that almost no vetted published papers really support the idea of a significantly lower overall anthropogenic impact than the general assessment by the ovewhelming majority of professional climate scientists.

        Because to consider that one must consider that, aha, intellectual hooliganism, and climate scientist conspiracies! Or, maybe, um, general agw “skepticism” has some basic flaws in it relative to the geophysical reality of the issue. True believers choose option A.

      • Well, A, if the science were settled, you might have something there.

      • “Settled” is somewhat semantics, and in some ways also a silly term, used by Obama or others or not.

        Also, what does it mean? Is gravity settled?

        We’re impacting climate through our actions, and creating a large risk range of potential major shifts. Lots of debate and uncertainty over that risk range. Though Curry, for example, has the entire idea of what that uncertainty means/a>, backward.

        As far as the relevant scientific community goes, it’s considered “settled,” unless some coherent theory was shown as to why to it wouldn’t be the case (though there’s zilch that makes sense in that regard, hence why all skepticism is cherry picking, impugning climate scientists, conflating what we don’t know with what we do, and making the entire concept of risk disappear if we can’t predict exactly what will happen)

        About 98% of professional climate scientists agree with what is considered settled – we’re changing our climate through our activities and presenting an unknown and potentially very high risk range.

        Sometimes the 2% are right. (Though in science-pure science, not medicine, where as a matter of practicality we’re forced into opinions one way or another – it’s the exception not the rule, particularly when it’s a theory that didn’t have to be answered and only was because of the physical observation and risk perceived. Though we tend to remember the exceptions because they stand out.)

        The fact is the only thing keeping this general consensus from being even higher, and much earlier in time (as well as tighter), is the complex, imprecise nature of our open climate system and the impossibility of measuring precise impact.

        Otherwise this is as basic as gravity. What’s not is exactly what will play out, which is part of what leads to that confusion.And easily supports the belief otherwise if one wants, or enough misconstructed info (usually created by the former) is created.

        So it’s not that 98% say so that makes it so, it’s the reason why. And it’s the reasons the 2% offer, as well, which are in this case not just wrong, but sometimes off get the basic isue wrong or are clearly ideologically led. https://judithcurry.com/2015/08/14/week-in-review-science-edition-17/#comment-725064

      • Sheer arm-waving. I’ve seen some incredibly silly papers published in some very high-profile journals. No other editor (AFAIK) resigned over it with a letter that sounds like a Korean War POW “confession”.

        Yes, when it comes to freedom from “re-education camps” and the intellectual equivalent, I am a zealot.

      • You logic isn’t sound. The paper got the most fundamental issues backward, and pretended as if it didn’t directly contradict accepted science.

        The Journal was off topic, and they made a mistake, not being familiar enough with the topic, of presuming that if anything was central to and directly contradicted the author’s claims, they would have referenced and explained it.

        As for “incredibly silly” you may be conflating incredibly silly” with “ddidn’t support my view.” Or maybe not.

        But just because others didn’t resign doesn’t make a person who took responsibility therefore, and did so resign, non credible. (He may also have been questioning his role (or desire to be) editor, as well, especially not properly vetting that paper, and that allowed him to take responsibility for a mistake he may have otherwise wanted to downplay if he otherwise was intent of staying editor.)

        That’s a big leap of assumption you’re making, and you’re making it as fact, then having contempt for others who (let alone perhaps with better reason) don’t agree.

        What makes your leap even more notable is that the editor didn’t resign over a good paper that was imperfect. He resigned over a paper that was essentially, horrible, and did in fact have fundamental error and, I don’t know if it had “false claims” (though implicitly it did) as much as ignored all relevant science as if it didn’t exist, and posited something backward as if it was the norm, and never even addresed the fact that it was doing it, and explained why, which should have been a key basis of any such paper in the first place.

        Freedom from re education camps doesn’t just mean embracing incorrect skeptic notions, and it’s easy to use broad rhetoric like that to dismiss ideas we don’t want to consider, while wrongly impugning everyone else for doing the same.

        While I agree some language is too dismissive of the right of skeptics to be ‘wrong” or hold “different views” (though part of the problem is some Al Gorites simply can’t comprehend the notion that agw “skeptics” really believe what they say), disagreeing with views, showing why they are in error, having different views as yours of even saying an entire group is wrong (let alone with even a quarter of the castigatory tone skeptics often have for others – and you’ve already exhibited here) is not re education camp.

        And it’s a particularly ironic claim given the intolerance for others’ views, and even their integrity, shown by many skeptics, including, again, you, here, in these comments in response.

        Though it is something Judy Curry is seemingly immune to, while constantly encouraging this excessive improper categorization of others who disagree with her or “skeptics” in general.

      • A, in your case, I’m not sure about YOUR logic. But since you begin with a basket of false premises anyway, the logic part is irrelevant.

      • Of course you’re not sure, because if you accepted my logic (or that of about 98% of professional climate scientists) you probably wouldn’t be a “skeptic” believer.

        But that 98% is one of the “false premises,” right? Essentially all premises that get in they way of skepticism, or that make skepticism seem illogical and that can be at least be impugned with rhetoric (and tricks like this are, right?

        You are right. Thinking that a sudden multi million year increase to earth’s basic insulation layer that we’re causing would climate isn’t very logical.

        Kidding. It’s actually very logical. But skeptics don’t want to accept or believe that logic based on things that have nothing to do with the geophysical issue, and that then produce a LOT of cherry pickign and misconstruction of the issue itself, to reinforce belief otherwise.

        Perhaps you should read this. Carefully.


        Of course, one of the first steps is to dismiss that site.

    • A:
      “It took an effect of climate and simply reversed causative assumption, with no reasoning or logic. Namely, climate change was “less” because “water vapor was driving it.” That’s almost as inane, but slightly more sophisticated, than saying “climate change is less because more heat is driving it.””
      Water vapor is the GHG that causes the most warming. CO2 is weak without it and compared to it. CO2 could be described as a driver, but it might be a minor one. If we had to pick one thing that was the driver, I’d pick water vapor and broadening that, all water. Water receives, stores, reflects and emits such a large amount of energy I think it drives the climate. I don’t think Spencer reversed things. Perhaps another way of looking at your last sentence above is, the hydrological cycle speeds up.

      • Water is a complicated subject.

        There is nothing to support the fact that water vapor drives climate though, since it is a part of weather, or climate. It is again, a half step short of saying “heat” drives heating.

        CO2 long term can be affected by climate. (Freezing it in ice, or releasing it in melt, etc) but in general is a long lived stable molecule created by a host of functions, including our (non climate) activities.

        It’s sort of like a semantic game. A lot of water vapor reflects more radiation in the first place (increases total earth atmos albedo) but also absorbs more thermal radiation, which seems to be the more powerful effect (not much proposal otherwise in several decades, but if so it would make any decrease in water vapor doubly bad it would become a positive from a negative feedback AND greatly amplify drought.)

        So yes it plays a key role in total atmospheric recapture. But the confusion of this – and the fact it plays a big role – doesn’t make it a driver.

        It would almost be like arguing that man’s activities matter less because with all this warming sea floor methane eruptions are increasing and driving far more atmospheric energy recpature. Well, yes, they are. (Or starting to, it seems, we’ll see where it goes.)

        But that doesn’t make methane emissions DRIVER of climate – even though it’s not contributing to increased heat retention – rather than a response to it.

        And this is a geologic time frame issue. water vapor varies by the hour. So it’s not just even a far more basic response, it’s constantly ongoing response.

        In other words, it’s part of the huge complex system of weather and climate that our LONG TERM (and, with it now being about a several million year plus increase in the a near geologic instant, somewhat geologicaly radical) atmospheric molecular alteration is fundamentally altering by increasing the LONG TERM molecular recapture of thermal radiation in the first place.

        The real question will be – what is the effect with respect to water vapor. Does it go up? Bad, but at least it doesn’t intensify droughts even more than shifting patterns are likely to do. does it go down – very bad – less overall thermal recapture (so less total climate change) but extra intensified drought or does it stay the same.

        Whatever that effect is, and that effect could also vary over time, Spencer turned the effect into a cause simply due to the complexity of the issue, and missed the fundamental point that the entire question is the extent of the effect of a geologically large increase in long lived greenhouse gases upon our total weather system – of which water, plays a complex, and constantly changing, part.

    • A:
      Our disagreement is partly semantics. To me what drives is where the energy is? Suppressed El Ninos and Negative PDOs may be said to drive the climate though they are probably driven by everything else. When heat is missing in the oceans, who is driving? 2 hours before Sandy hit, I could have pointed to who is driving. Water has good track record of giving us a nice place to live.

  21. “New sunspot analysis shows rising global temperatures not linked to solar activity”

    As if surface temperatures directly follow forcings, and also sunspot number can at times be a poor proxy for solar plasma strength.

  22. Re: Briggs’ Third Way

    Briggs provides some interesting observations/propositions on “importance” as an output of models.

    Importance is a matter of decision, which varies by decision maker. Importance is not a probability or statistical concept and therefore cannot be ascertained within probability models.

    The concept of importance goes to the heart of the debate over climate change. For example, how relevant is a temperature anomaly of 0.5 C to environmental (or other) policy?

    Briggs argues that statistical models (frequentist or Bayesian) offer no objective insight into the relative importance of results, despite modelers’ efforts to present their results as policy prescriptive. I suppose this is a self-evident concept but it bears repeating, IMO.

    There is and should be no default or automatic levels of usefulness. The last thing the field of probability and statistics needs is another magic number à la “significance” with p-values. … Since most models are ad hoc, as regression always is, we can only speak of usefulness.

    Importance and relevance are replacements for testing and estimation, but not painless ones. The recipient of an analysis is asked to do much more work than is usual in statistics. However, this is the more honest approach.

  23. Johns Hopkins Center of Childhood Asthma in an Urban Setting has been studying asthma and its origins, publishing papers for more than a decade. Some of the information is unsettling and reported findings have been difficult, given constraints of a “politically correct” journalistic approach. There are complex behavioral, emotional and environmental factors that influence the development of asthma especially when the maternal history is negative for asthma.

    This current report adds to the growing body of information that maternal cigarette smoking, maternal exposure to second hand smoking, exposure to drugs and smoking marijuana, prenatal maternal stress, maternal health beliefs, maternal belief and sense of locus of control, maternal self-identifying victim-hood, are many features involved in the development of asthma in children. Low income, race, distrust of the health care system, poor reporting of specific perceived socially unacceptable behaviors, as well as a systematic pattern of poor adherence to treatment regimens irregardless of disease not only for asthma, makes self-reporting studies suspect. Direct laboratory monitoring studies of self-reports studies demonstrate a profound divergence.

    We have a cigarette smoking President whose daughter developed asthma. It is hard for Government funded asthma research to finger-point to our President with his cigarette smoking behavior as a likely cause of his own daughter’s asthma, especially while he is making childhood asthma as evidentiary for coal fired power plants causing children’s asthma. I can understand why Obama would be unwilling to acknowledge his own cigarette smoking causing his child’s asthma because he being around his wife while she was pregnant; i.e., second hand cigarette smoking. Too much for him to admit his own guilt. It is better to pass it off to someone/something else.

    • Or, it could be Unicorns. They left that off the list.

      • jim 2

        You know, I don’t believe they considered Unicorns.

        Blaming the choices made by low-income people, or a specific racial group as being a source of their own difficulties is not really a politically correct strategy. Therefore the solutions also miss the origins of the problems. It is too painful politically to identify problems; hence, solutions.

      • I have asthma. I’m a white guy. Unicorns. Yep, that’s it.

      • jim 2

        you really need to speak to your mother and as her why she was smoking dope when she was pregnant with you. Or speak to your dad as to why he created so much stress in your family by being a deadbeat dad. On the other hand, maybe it was just a bad shake of the genes and your asthmatic Uncle Phil was really not just your uncle.

      • We had trees and grass in the yard. That’s probably the problem.

      • jim2, OMG! Trees and Grass! It is a wonder you survived. Actually burning yard waste was a problem for a lot of people growing up. Once people started installing air conditioning it was more molds etc.

    • That did occur to me.

      But it’s consistent with the age of lack of responsibility.

    • When “they” start tying asthma to things like race, income, poor self esteem, and “victim-hood” (whatever the heck that is); then a new government program can’t be far behind.

    • Yep, CD. We burnt leaves. I loved that time of year and getting to burn the leaves! Later, much later, we even got a window A/C unit.

      Before that, we had an attic fan that wafted everything the air had to offer over me in my bed. Hmmmm …

  24. Judith, excellent reporting. The world is going to get colder. Sorry you missed this. I mean I would like it to get colder, buying property in Prince Rupert to accommodate San Franciscans, but not a smart deal.

    • The world is going to get colder.

      The world is going to get colder – January is approaching.

      Then the world will get warmer as July approaches.

      But it doesn’t seem to matter much.

  25. I’m always looking for smart deals. George Soros funds ant-coal, drining down coal company shares, and then buys coal companies. I’m following his lead. What he’s saying is, “Coal energy is really bad, until I own it.”

    It’s kinda like Obama saying, “Fossil fuel-burning jet travel is terrible, unless I’m flying the ol 747 to Martha’s Vineyard, Palm Springs or Hawaii.”

    Or the Parisites, “Everyone has to cut down on fossil fuel burning, except for us. We mean it. We get to Paris on unicorn farts, which are CO2 free.

  26. Berényi Péter

    No Consensus: Earth’s Top of Atmosphere Energy Imbalance in CMIP5-Archived (IPCC AR5) Climate Models

    The 21 computational climate models included in CMIP5 clearly show, that most model pairs are mutually inconsistent. It can not be the case, that both members of an inconsistent pair are “true”, therefore ensemble average includes false representations, making it utterly meaningless.

    The fact climate scientists are still unable to identify inadequate members of the ensemble, does not make this average less meaningless, for we do know for sure that such a subset exists.

    This is pure logic so far, shows how weak a logical relation “consistent with” is. It’s not even transitive.

    Consequently one can still construct a “reality” which is consistent with all computational models included in the intercomparison, only error bars have to be made large enough. Unfortunately actual reality is not like that, some observations are well constrained, because observational datasets are not infinitely flexible, however hard one tries to make them so. Therefore some computational models in CMIP5 are already falsified by past observations. If that’s so, they should be identified clearly, excluded from further evaluation and the projects behind them discontinued and defunded.

    It would still make sense to construct an “inconsistency matrix” of climate models, irrespective of observations. In this case projections for the future can also be included. The idea is to run each model under the same set of “scenarios”, that is, same history of “forcings” like well mixed greenhouse gases, aerosols, airborne black carbon, volcanoes, solar variability, etc. multiple times. Consider not only a single variable like global average surface temperature anomaly, but many, like actual average surface temperatures in several broad latitudinal bands, both over ocean and land, cloud fraction, average tropospheric humidity and temperature at different elevations, absorbed solar and outgoing longwave radiation flux, average wind speed, rate of evaporation at surface and vertical turbulent mixing in oceans, interhemispheric difference of said quantities, etc. Each run lends a trajectory (a crooked line) in the multi dimensional phase space of these variables and multiple runs of the same model under the same scenario from slightly different initial conditions a (rather loose) bundle of such trajectories (because the system is chaotic). The cross section of said phase space at a particular instant with its bundle is a set of points. Cover it with a multi dimensional blob, which contains their convex hull and some more, for the sake of safety. If these blobs are joined along the bundle, a multi dimensional “tube” is come by, specific to a (model; scenario) pair.

    Now we are in a position, that we can compare two models under the same scenario. If at any instance their “blobs” are disjoint sets, they are said to be inconsistent with each other under that scenario, otherwise they are consistent (under this particular scenario). If a pair of models is consistent with each other under all scenarios, it is a consistent pair. Please note it can still be the case, that a set of models contains only consistent pairs, but the set itself is inconsistent, because intersection of three sets can be non empty pairwise, while their full intersection is empty (like {A;B}, {B;C}, {C;A}). With that in mind we can define a maximal consistent set of models as a set, for which under all scenarios and instants intersection of their “blobs” is non empty, but with the addition of one more model this property is destroyed.

    It is important to note, that under this definition a model is necessarily consistent with itself. If the procedure described above is carried out for a pair of models which are identical but by name and the result is “inconsistent”, they were not run a sufficient number of times to get a clear picture of their behavior, that is, their bundles are sparse. In that case the model should be run more times from slightly perturbed initial conditions. If that can’t be accomplished for the lack of computational resources, the model is too complex from a computational point of view and should be disqualified, because its characteristic behavior can’t be determined, so it is useless.

    I wonder what models are disqualified in CMIP5, what are the maximal consistent sets and what are their respective ensemble averages, or even better, intersection of their tubes for each scenario (because these intersections are continuous tubes themselves by definition).

    I am quite sure several models included in CMIP5 should be disqualified and the rest does not form a single maximal consistent set, so no ensemble average makes sense. What is more, I am afraid that under this definition all maximal consistent sets have but a single member, what makes all averages meaningless. However, one can’t be sure until the job is done.

    I wonder what CMIP folks are doing, if none of the tasks outlined above is accomplished so far. Or, if it’s done, why is it not advertised?

    The CMIP5 experiment design document is not encouraging.

    • Somewhat related.

      Below are the CERES net radiance anomalies from March 2000 through March 2015. The mean for the period of record is very nearly zero. Obviously, the noise indicates a great deal of variance ( real or otherwise ). Also, this indication of equilibrium is accomplished with the help of the slow warming trend indicated by the NCDC temperature plot.

  27. The “hockey-stick” data relative to the Vostok Ice Core data for the last 1000 years in shown in the fig below. This is 1 or the 4 plots for the time period 0-10000ybp. Only the 0-10000ybp regression of the Ice Core data gives a downward trend for the last 1000 years. The Ice Core data is also overlaid a graph with many models for the NH. There is reverse behavior around 1600AD! Has the “hockey-blade” been smoothed over long time periods as has the “stick”?
    The plots can be found at: http://gsjournal.net/Science-Journals/%7B$cat_name%7D/View/6170

  28. Algorithms and Bias: Q. and A. With Cynthia Dwork

    [students] need to understand that classification rules obtained by machine learning are not immune from bias, especially when historical data incorporates bias.

    Not written about climate but it applies to climate.

  29. Weather satellites may become more affordable:
    Mach 10, 12,000 mph. Minimum orbital velocity about 17,000 mph. It’s a flying reusable booster. A plus may be that any re-entry heat shielding might be minimal. They say it flies and is more than just ballistic.

  30. http://ww2.kqed.org/mindshift/2015/08/04/seeing-struggling-math-learners-as-sense-makers-not-mistake-makers/
    “My goal is for them to become the truthmakers,” Wees said. “I’m trying to build a mathematical community where something is true when everyone agrees it’s true.” To do that, he asks students to talk through mathematical ideas, struggle with them and give one another feedback. “A major goal of math classrooms should be to develop people who look for evidence and try to prove that things are true or not true,” Wees said. “You can do that at any age”

    So he turns maths into people-based consensus!

    Not a good start to the children’s maths career …

  31. Here is the latest on sea level change:

    The Annals of Applied Statistics
    2015, Vol. 9, No. 2, 547–571
    DOI: 10.1214/15-AOAS824
    © Institute of Mathematical Statistics, 2015


    University College Dublin∗, Tufts University†, Rutgers University‡
    and Nanyang Technological University§

    We perform Bayesian inference on historical and late Holocene (last
    2000 years) rates of sea-level change. The input data to our model are tidegauge measurements and proxy reconstructions from cores of coastal sediment. These data are complicated by multiple sources of uncertainty, some of which arise as part of the data collection exercise. Notably, the proxy reconstructions include temporal uncertainty from dating of the sediment core using techniques such as radiocarbon. The model we propose places a Gaussian process prior on the rate of sea-level change, which is then integrated and set in an errors-in-variables framework to take account of age uncertainty. The resulting model captures the continuous and dynamic evolution of sea-level change with full consideration of all sources of uncertainty. We demonstrate the performance of our model using two real (and previously published) example data sets. The global tide-gauge data set indicates that sea-level rise increased from a rate with a posterior mean of 1.13 mm/yr in 1880 AD (0.89 to 1.28 mm/yr 95% credible interval for the posterior mean) to a posterior mean rate of 1.92 mm/yr in 2009 AD (1.84 to 2.03 mm/yr 95% credible interval for the posterior mean). The proxy reconstruction from North Carolina (USA) after correction for land-level change shows the 2000 AD rate of rise to have a posterior mean of 2.44 mm/yr (1.91 to 3.01 mm/yr 95% credible interval). This is unprecedented in at least the last 2000 years.

    • Matthew

      There is no such thing as ‘global’ sea level data from 1880. There are a few NH gauges, most of which have moved, and even fewer SH gauges that date to that time

      There are not enough to make any sort of estimate fit for a global estimate.


  32. climatereason: There is no such thing as ‘global’ sea level data from 1880.

    Here’s more: The data are described in greater detail in the two papers by Church and White.

    Data and code (DOI: 10.1214/15-AOAS824SUPP; .zip). We provide the tide-gauge and proxy reconstructed data for both case studies. We also supply the R code and JAGS code needed to run the S-IGP and EIV-IGP models described.


    C HURCH , J. A. and W HITE , N. J. (2006). A 20th century acceleration in global sea-level rise. Geophysical Research Letters 33.
    C HURCH , J. A. and W HITE , N. J. (2011). Sea-level rise from the late 19th to the early 21st century. Surveys in Geophysics 32 585–602.

    The authors say this: Tide gauges. Tide gauges are instruments that measure RSL multiple times each day at a fixed coastal location. Monthly RSL averages for individual locations are held by the Permanent Service for Mean Sea Level [Woodworth and Player (2003)]. The distribution of these locations is very uneven in time and space. To reliably estimate rates and trends against a background of annual to decadal variability, analysis of individual tide-gauge records is commonly restricted to locations with more than ∼60 years of data [Douglas, Kearney and Leatherman (2001)]. GMSL is estimated by spatially averaging tide-gauge records after individual records (irrespective of record length) were corrected for GIA.

    Perhaps your objection is to the inference of “global” change from this sample of locations. RSL is “relative sea level”, and the authors describe some of the difficulties of estimating it at each location.

    One of their analyses is specific to N. Carolina.

  33. http://www.the-cryosphere-discuss.net/9/4205/2015/tcd-9-4205-2015.pdf

    A great new paper on another source of natural variability in Arctic ice loss. 10% (30% for the past decade) of ice loss can be associated with increased export @Fram Strait caused by increased wind and ocean flow.

    The authors have the audacity to say
    “We therefore find that the observed increase in ice export documented here is caused by natural climate variability, and that there is potential for a partial recovery of the Arctic September SIE in the future when, or if, the spring ice export decreases.”

    • THANK YOU for this link

    • Why would it take audacity? Don’t bother.

      I think the positive phase of the PDO will result in some recovery of Arctic ice, but as soon as the index begins declining, the ice will resume declining.

      • I guess the real issue would be summed up in your own comment which contains specifc details that might vary from person to person but which follows a similar pattern. So paraphrased this type of explanation would be we may go thru a little hiccup ( some form of natural variability) but soon enough we’ll return to the forced declines. This largely assumes that the recent past declines can be put down to forcings when in fact this paper (and others) suggest the situation is more complex, that attribution of past declines is still unresolved. Which makes future projections of arctic ice (such as your one) hard to justify.