Lukewarming

by Judith Curry

Two new books on lukewarming have recently been published.

Lukewarming – Pat Michaels and Chip Knappenberger

Lukewarming: The New Climate Science that Changes Everything, by Pat Michaels and Chip Knappenberger

The title of Michaels’ and Knappenberger’s new book is a clever riff on Naomi Klein’s alarming book This Changes Everything.

From the blurb at amazon.com:

In late November world leaders will gather in Paris at the United Nations Climate Change Conference for what is viewed as the last great chance for a sweeping international agreement to limit carbon dioxide emissions. The consequences of this gathering may be enormous. In this new ebook, experts Patrick J. Michaels and Paul C. Knappenberger assess the issues sure to drive the debate before, during, and after the Paris meeting.

From the book’s Introduction:

Our national political discourse is about as polarized as it has been since the Civil War, and it is affecting all sorts of issues — foreign policy, group rights, and health care, to name a few.  Likewise, for global warming, the media sorts people into ‘alarmist’ or ‘denier’ camps — words needing little further explication.  But there’s a third group not as visible, not as extreme, and yet possessed with substantial explanatory power of which the public is, at best, only vaguely aware.  These are the ‘lukewarmers.’ That’s us.

The lukewarm synethesis of global warming is simple. Increasing concentrations of carbon dioxide and other “greenhouse” gases exert a mild warming pressure on the lower atmosphere, which has been known for 150 years. But lukewarmers have been aware—for some time—that something isn’t right with the climate projections made by clunky general circulation climate models. Nearly thirty years ago, it became obvious that, left to their own devices, and programmed with the mathematical equivalent of increasing carbon dioxide, they were predicting far too much warming. Lukewarmers believe the evidence of some human-caused climate change is compelling, but it is hardly the alarming amount being predicted by the models.

This book, Lukewarming, begins with the basic evidence for lukewarming and the historical development of the lukewarm synthesis.  We then segue to the meeting in Paris and what is likely to happen there.

We show how the incentive structure in modern science was established soon after World War II and led to the federal takeover of much of science (and all of climate science) and how that can create a systematic distortion in the direction of alarmism.

Borrowing a phrase from science writer Matt Ridley we segue to the ‘rational optimism’ of lukewarmers.

Near the end of the book, we put down most of the ‘weather is getting worse’ myths.  We pay special attention to the one true nightmare with regard to global warming:  the rapid disintegration of Greenland’s ice sheet. Seventy percent of Greenland’s ice sheet has in the past survived over 10 times as much heat as humans can possible unload on it.

Interestingly, the availability cascade provides a framework for much of the book.

The Lukewarmer’s Way – Tom Fuller

The Lukewarmer’s Way, by Thomas Fuller.

From the blurb at amazon.com:

In The Lukewarmer’s Way, Thomas Fuller (co-author of Climategate: The Crutape Letters) justifies a middle ground in the ongoing debate between human-caused climate change skeptics and Anthropogenic Global Warming Activists. Presenting reasoned arguments and dispassionate data, Fuller suggests the heated rhetoric be set aside so a rational way forward can be found.

Lucia invited Tom Fuller to pitch his book at the Blackboard, excerpts:

My book isn’t about climate science per se. Nor is it about grammar. It is about explaining a third position in the climate debate, one that is neither alarmist nor skeptical. As Lukewarmers are getting a bit more press than previously and as a lot of the press is as wrong about us as it is about everything climate, I am hoping my book will serve as a flagpost that both identifies us and locates us accurately on the spectrum of climate opinions.

Of course, the simplest definition is Mosher’s: “The simplest definition was given by Steve Mosher, who frequently comments on your blog. ‘Given an over/under on sensitivity of 3C, lukewarmers will take the under.”

So what is a Lukewarmer? Let’s start with how the opposition describes us. This is what ATTP writes: “The fundamental problem I have with the Lukewarmer position is that it appears to be based on the idea that everything could be fine, therefore let’s proceed as if it will be fine. That’s why Eli Rabett calls them Luckwarmers – we’ll be lucky if they’re correct.”

On the other side of the spectrum, Shub Niggurath chimes in: “The term ‘lukewarmer’ has some of its roots in some skeptics trying to distance themselves from the extreme portrayal that was directed at skeptics.”

What I say in the Forward to my book is, “Briefly, what I came to think was that climate change is real. It is probable that humans contributed to the dramatic warming of the last quarter of the 20th century. One of those contributions consists of greenhouse gases from the burning of fossil fuels. Burning of fossil fuels will accelerate rapidly in the 21st Century. This is likely to pose a problem for continued human development, and it would be wise to take steps to reduce the emissions and prepare for the impact of future warming. Alarmist scenarios of very large temperature rises and sea level increase are not supported by mainstream science. Climate change should be considered a serious issue deserving of our attention, but it is not a ‘planet-buster’.”

 

Because Lukewarmers don’t have a manifesto, the Lukewarmers I have read all have different ideas on what it means.

Here’s what I wrote in my book:

“What we seem (so far) to have in common is an understanding that the basic underpinnings of climate science are understandable, well-grounded and not controversial, plus the growing realization that one of the key components of an extended theory of climate change has been pushed too far.

That component is the sensitivity of our atmosphere to a doubling of the concentrations of CO2. The activists who have tried to dominate the discussion of climate change for more than twenty years have insisted that this sensitivity is high, and will amplify the warming caused by CO2 by 3, 4 or even 10 times the 1C of warming provided by a doubling of CO2 alone. The Skeptics who oppose them dispute the models that have shaped Alarmist views of sensitivity and argue instead that sensitivity is only about 1C or even less.

There is a middle ground. It is my hope that this book and the efforts of other Lukewarmers will take the conversation far ahead of the extremists on both sides of this important issue and leave them to their increasingly irrelevant and increasingly arcane tossing of insults and ignoring reality.”

 

JC comments

I’ve read both books, they are both well written, economically priced, and good reads.  Tom Fuller discusses the sociology and disagreements among lukewarmers, whereas Michaels and Knappenberger seek to identify a third ‘tribe’ of lukewarmers.

Michaels and Knappenberger delve into the science in a comprehensive yet understandable way, whereas Fuller (not a climate scientist) does not delve as deeply into the science, beyond the basics.

Michaels and Knappenberger’s book is more politically savvy regarding the Paris moment at hand, whereas Fuller provides a thoughtful assessment of a range of policy options.

All in all, the books are complementary and add to the growing body of popular books that are looking at climate change in a reasonable way.

People often try to categorize me as a lukewarmer.  Well, if you are delineating three ‘tribes’ – alarmist, denier, lukewarmer – then I more naturally align with the lukewarmers.

However, I have my own little ‘tribe’, whose figure head is the uncertainty monster.  While the evidence that we do have points in the direction of lukewarming, the uncertainties are sufficiently large that we can’t rule out large sensitivity and catastrophic outcomes.  My preferred approach to ‘solutions’ given this uncertainty – decision making under deep uncertainty – prefers robust decision making frameworks and anti fragility.

In any event, a growing lukewarm movement is a healthy sign for the climate debate.

199 responses to “Lukewarming

  1. While I won’t say the book is bad on all accounts, Thomas Fuller’s book, The Lukewarmer’s Way, is wrong on a central issue to the point of dishonesty. Namely, Fuller says things like:

    7. Growth in energy consumption is skyrocketing with the development of Asia and Africa. My projections show that we may use six times as much energy in 2075 as we did in 2010.

    And:

    I still believe that temperatures will climb this century, mostly as a result of the brute force effect of the 3,000 quads of energy we will burn every year starting in 2075—as I explain elsewhere.

    Humans currently use about 500 “quads,” a unit of energy, each year. Fuller has made a lot of fuss about the idea we will increase that number to 3,000 by 2075, to the point he even has a site 3000quads.com, with the tagline:

    Humans will use 3,000 Quads by 2075. If they all come from coal we’re ruined.

    This number is completely baseless. Fuller gets it by simply assuming almost everyone on the planet will start using the same amount of energy as people from the United States… by 2035. Yes, Fuller’s approach assumes practically every underdeveloped nation will become as developed at the United States by 2035:

    If 7 billion of the 8 billion (there will still be the Bottom Billion to worry about) are consuming energy at an American level (323 million btus per person per year), that’s more than 2100 quads in 2035.

    According to Fuller, there will be such a massive ramp up in development that in 20 years, humans will use four times as much energy as they currently use. That’s ludicrous. It also contradicts what he spends the last third of his book saying, as an entire third of his book is devoted to explain humans will use 913 quads by 2030 and 965 quads by 2040.

    Fuller gets those numbers by using a totally different approach, one which doesn’t assume practically the entire world will reach energy consumption levels matching those of the United States. To get around the contradiction between the results these two methodologies give, Fuller simply changed:

    straight line extension of consumption trends gets you to about 2,100 quads in 2035, and about 3,000 in 2075.

    Which he had said a few years ago in a post he copied text from for this book, to:

    straight line extension of consumption trends gets you to about 1,000 quads in 2035, and about 3,000 in 2075.

    In his actual book. He’s changed the, in his own words, “fantastickal” idea humans might need 2,100 (actually 2,088) quads in 2035 to a mere 1,000, less than half what the methodology actually says we’d need. Why did he make this change? It’s not because the methodology gives different results. The methodology is the exact same. That’s why it still gives 3,000 quads as the amount of energy humans will need in 2075.

    The reason is just that Fuller didn’t like the results. His old methodology gave wildly exaggerated answers because it assumed an unrealistic rate of development for most of the world. When he used a more appropriate methodology, it showed his old results were completely out of line. Rather than accept his old methodology was flawed, Fuller simply changed the results it gave that were obviously wrong and kept the rest.

    It’s completely dishonest. There isn’t the slightest shred of evidence to support Fuller’s claim humans will use 3000 quads as of 2075, and that idea is contradicted by the very work he published in his book. He’s simply, for whatever reason, unwilling to admit his earlier outlandish predictions were wrong.

    (For references, details and a graph showing just how out of line Fuller’s projected 3000 quads is, see this post.)

    • It’s totally irrelevant what one predicts for 2075′ even silly. We can’ predict so far into the future. It’s equally silly to start a debate on this prediction

      • Jacob, I largely agree about the futility of making projections out to 2075. In fact, the only reason I even bought this book was I wanted to find out how Thomas Fuller came up with his 2075 projections because I was curious how people would even try to do it.

        But when a person devotes a considerable amount of time to making projections and getting public attention for them, I think it is appropriate to point out those projections are baseless. When the person relies on dishonesty to support those projections, then I think it is necessary to speak up.

    • Brandon I have done similar calculations and Thomas Fuller is broadly correct. It’s only “baseless” if characterise it as an expectation. You could argue that he did, but I prefer a slightly more nuanced view:

      – Morally, we have to provide for the possibility that everyone on earth will eventually have an equal access to energy. That may very well not occur by 2075, but there is good chance that something close will transpire. There is huge disparity between energy use and developed countries – with USA using vastly more than any one else per capita and the UK something like 16th (from memory).

      Never-the-less, I calculated that were we to find efficiency savings globally of 25% per capita (very very ambitious I know) and the population were to top out at 11 billion (expected between 2050 and 2075) then we would need to produce 4 times more energy than we currently do annually (per 2010 figures).

      It presupposes that everyone should have equal access to energy. In reality, some parts of the world will use more and parts will use less, but if development continues as it should, then these sorts of figures are not unrealistic.

      It is an illustration I use to draw attention to the futility of “renewables”. The scale required to address the need for energy towards the middle of the century make them utterly inadequate. Fusion, or modern fission such as thorium is the only way we are going to touch our energy requirements in the absence of fossil fuels.

      • I’ve concluded that most people who predict the future are myopic or badly informed..


        http://www.world-nuclear-news.org/NP-China-plans-for-nuclear-growth-2011144.html
        Fast reactors – make maximum use of uranium resources by generating a certain amount more fuel than they consume – are seen as the main technology for China’s long-term use of nuclear energy. Under previously announced plans, deployment of PWRs is expected to level off at 200 GWe by around 2040, with the use of fast reactors progressively increasing from 2020 to at least 200 GWe by 2050 and 1400 GWe by 2100.

        1. China and India are installing some renewables and are heavily invested in massive conventional nuclear programs with some thorium reactor prototyping. China is doing more hydro. They have 158 GW nuclear capacity planned by 2030. They don’t appear to plan on having any coal plants in 2100.

        2. Temperate climates will always use more energy than tropical climates. The temperate climates are already up to speed on energy.

        3. China – responsible for 30% of coal consumption will hit peak coal in 2030 and thereafter start replacing coal with nuclear.

        4. The US has 28% of coal reserves and appears to plan to sit on them, using a small fraction for local consumption.

        5. Roll-on/spray-on organic solar cells or other “clean” technologies (unlike current “dirty” renewables) will develop. Likely by 2040.

        6. Liquid salt reactors or some other technology make nuclear power dirt cheap – pretty likely by 2050. Chinese fast breeders may fill this niche.

        The countries that use a lot of coal have large indigenous supplies. Coal is expensive to ship. The claim that the undeveloped countries will buy gobs of coal, causing the price to skyrocket due to supply&demand, is sort of silly. The delivered cost will be higher than they can afford except for priority uses.

        It is pretty obvious that fossil fuel consumption will peak between 2030 and 2050 and decline thereafter. Nuclear is going to become the baseband generator of choice for the smarter countries (China, India, most of Asia). Nuclear is currently competitive in cost and when fossil fuels move up in cost nuclear will move in.

        This makes any global warming scenario an exercise in fantasy.

      • agnostic2015, you say:

        Brandon I have done similar calculations and Thomas Fuller is broadly correct. It’s only “baseless” if characterise it as an expectation. You could argue that he did, but I prefer a slightly more nuanced view:

        But whether or not you have a more nuanced view tells us nothing about Thomas Fuller’s argument. You say this is only “baseless” if characterized as an expectation, but that’s exactly how Fuller characterized it. In fact, he went so far as to say:

        As it happens, I think China will persuade itself to go for a lower intensity lifestyle and the global total will be around 3,000 quads by 2075. But if I’m erring, I’m erring on the low side.

        Claiming his prediction was, if anything, an underestimation of what was to come. And while you say:

        Morally, we have to provide for the possibility that everyone on earth will eventually have an equal access to energy. That may very well not occur by 2075, but there is good chance that something close will transpire.

        You ignore the fact Fuller’s argument requires this happen not by 2075, but by 2035. There is no way the underdeveloped portions of our world will reach an equitable state with countries like the United States in only 20 years. But that’s what Fuller assumes will happen. He assumes the world will reach an equal state by 2035 and will then carry on in that equality through to 2075.

        It is fine to look at the “possibility that everyone on earth will eventually have an equal access to energy.” That’s a goal we could strive toward. What we cannot do, however, is simply assume it will happen by a certain point and base all calculations on that assumption. We cannot do that because we have no basis for assuming the world will reach such an equitable state by 2035 or even 2075.

        And that’s why Thomas Fuller’s prediction humans will use 3,000 quads by 2075 is baseless. He made a, as he called it, “fantastickal” assumption he had no basis for, and based his calculations on it. Then he fudged any results that gave numbers which were inconvenient in order to hide the fact his methodology was bad.

    • Yes brandoon, Tom’s straight line projection is baseless and silly but your outrage and nastiness is way out of line.

    • Brandon Shollenberger: The reason is just that Fuller didn’t like the results.

      I think it would be better if you addressed his mistakes (as you see them) and contradictions without the attribution of motives.

      While I won’t say the book is bad on all accounts,

      Is any of it worth reading?

      • matthewrmarler, when you see a person get a set of results, do a second set of calculations, then go back and manually change the first set of results to match the new calculations, I think it is appropriate to move beyond simply pointing ocontradictions. I allow for the possibility of innocuous explanations only until there ceases to be any. At a certain point, I think you have to just say the person lied.

        As for whether or not any of the book is worth reading, I don’t know. I didn’t get anything useful out of it, and I think the book has a disturbing bias where it treats anyone who believes climate sensitivity is high as an alarmist with all the derogatory implications that entails.* People less familar with these debates might get something from it though.

        *The book seems to label everyone as a skeptic, lukewarmer or alarmist. There is no non-dergogatory label mentioned for anyone above a lukewarmer. The implication is if you think things are worse than the author does, you’re an alarmist who exaggerates the problem and creates needless fear. I think that’s offensive.

  2. “Given an over/under on sensitivity of 3C, lukewarmers will take the under.”

    I believe the sensitivity is likely less than 0.5, maybe 0, and may not be a simple function, turning negative above some concentration. Am I a lukewarmer?

    • No.

      There is a second component and that is that sensitivity is above 1.2C for doubling.. roughly the response given no net feedbacks.

      • Steven – I’m trying to make sure I understand this and would appreciate your take here. If someone thought that the net effect was a small “negative feedback” would that require a sensitivity below 1.2C? Is it unreasonable based on the available evidence to suspect that there might be a small negative feedback? Is the case for positive feedback superior to negative, such that entertaining the possibility of a negative feedback, puts one in the denier camp?

      • Steve

        Your definition has been rejected by most others.

      • “There is a second component and that is that sensitivity is above 1.2C for doubling.”

        That depends what else is happening in the system during the period in question.

      • PE

        Perfect!

        “Steven – I’m trying to make sure I understand this and would appreciate your take here. If someone thought that the net effect was a small “negative feedback” would that require a sensitivity below 1.2C? Is it unreasonable based on the available evidence to suspect that there might be a small negative feedback? Is the case for positive feedback superior to negative, such that entertaining the possibility of a negative feedback, puts one in the denier camp?”

        I guess since I did the first definition of Lukewarmer as it relates to ECS let me tell you my thought process at the time.

        1. The no feedback number is the grounding point.
        Getting that number is non trivial and its not without
        controversy
        https://judithcurry.com/2010/12/11/co2-no-feedback-sensitivity/
        raw physics says about 1C.
        see fred
        “” Jeff, the 1C value for a forcing of 3.7 W/m^2 (the canonical value for doubled CO2 based on radiative transfer equations and spectroscopic data) is derived by differentiating the Stefan -Boltzmann equation that equates flux (F) to a constant (sigma) x the fourth power of temperature. We get dF/dT = 4 sigma T^3, and by inversion, dT/dF = 1/(4sigmaT^3). Substituting 3.7 for dF and 255 K for Earth’s radiating temperature, and assuming a linear lapse rate, dT becomes almost exactly 1 deg C. In fact, however, the models almost uniformly yield a slightly different value of about 1.2 C, based on variations that occur with latitude and season.”

        From that grounding point call it 1C or 1.2 C now comes the question

        where does the evidence take us? And at the time I judged that the evidence for positive feedbacks was much stronger than evidence for net negative. So, that provided the direction. 1.2C is the bare response.
        The vast majority of the evidence is for positive feedbacks…

        Next question is what is the median value. For that I looked at AR4.

        Here is a funny thing. when people asked me to pick a point estimate I say 2.7C. Why? That was the value of ECS produced by ModelE by Nasa. BUT, I would argue AGAINST holding any point estimate.
        If want to be wrong, most certainly wrong, then pick a point estimate.

        Given the uncertainty I’d just say I’m 51% confident it lies between
        1.2C and 3C.. what is the shape of the PDF in between those two?
        beats me.

      • Rob..
        .
        That some people have co-opted and muddled the definition I laid out
        is of historical interest only. the “numbers” of people who disagree is just more consensus head counting claptrap. Glad to see you employ
        that style of argument. Go join john Cook and lewandowski

      • What we got here, is failure to communicate just what the meaning of ‘luke’ is.
        ===========

      • No problem PE.

        In a nut shell raw physics (all else being equal ) get’s you to 1C (meh 1.2)

        The next question is balance of evidence for the tough second order effects (feedbacks ).

        a) paleo says greater than 1
        b) observations say greater than 1
        c) models say greater than 1.

      • Got to hand it to Kim, that was pretty cool.

      • SM says, “In a nut shell raw physics (all else being equal ) get’s you to 1C (meh 1.2)”

        No, that is based upon a mathematical error in calculating the Planck feedback parameter:

        http://hockeyschtick.blogspot.com/search?q=kimoto

        & multiple additional mathematical & logical errors:

        http://joannenova.com.au/2015/11/new-science-18-finally-climate-sensitivity-calculated-at-just-one-tenth-of-official-estimates/

        SM says “The next question is balance of evidence for the tough second order effects (feedbacks ).
        a) paleo says greater than 1”

        Nope, MWP, RWP, Egyptian WP, Minoan WP all warmer than present with much lower levels of CO2.

        “b) observations say greater than 1”

        Nope, e.g Lindzen & Choi ERBE observations show net feedbacks are negative, sensitivity almost zero (.18C).

        “c) models say greater than 1.”

        Sure, based upon multiple erroneous assumptions.

    • I don’t quite understand the 3C. I take it that is for 100 years and consistent with a doubling of CO2. Is it possible it could down and up and depending on what 100 year period you’re talking about see a 3C rise. If there is a one hundred year cycle for instance we would be seeing and Oort minimum followed by a medieval maximum. I probably wouldn’t bust 3C from starting now (If an Oort occurred and it was similar to the last). But it would probably bust 3C from the bottom of the Oort. Sorry for overthinking, but if a scenario like that occurred the temperature would likely be higher that today but not by 3C but it would still be a fit for lukewarmer ideology of AGW.

    • bigterguy: Am I a lukewarmer?

      By the “simplest” definition, attributed to Steven Mosher, yes. By the more complicated definition incorporating Steven Mosher’s insistence on believing in a sensitivity of at least 1.2C, then no.

      Take your pick. A “definitive” definition of “lukewarmer” has not been adjudicated yet..

  3. Dr Curry wrote:
    However, I have my own little ‘tribe’, whose figure head is the uncertainty monster. While the evidence that we do have points in the direction of lukewarming, the uncertainties are sufficiently large that we can’t rule out large sensitivity and catastrophic outcomes. My preferred approach to ‘solutions’ given this uncertainty – decision making under deep uncertainty – prefers robust decision making frameworks and anti fragility.

    I was left out. I am not an alarmist, I am not a skeptic, I am not a luke warmer.

    I promote the natural climate cycle that has been in place for millions of years.

    Climate Theory starts with an equilibrium temperature and uses different things to disturb temperature away from the equilibrium. Start with a black body; add atmosphere, greenhouse gases, and milankovitch cycles, solar cycles, summer and winter, day and night.

    They try to correlate cycles in all of this with temperature cycles and get some to resonate in a meaningful way. When they manage to get cooling, they add ice as a result. When they manage to get warming, they remove ice as a result. Just about everyone on the different sides do this.

    I have listened to lectures on the different sides. I have attended lectures by Mann, Dressler, Singer, Soon, Wysmuller, almost every different theory possible.

    Mother earth works like our ice chests. If we want the ice chest cold, we add ice to make it cold. If we want the ice chest warmer, we remove the ice. Earth has two ice chests, one in the North and one in the South.

    The Polar Regions and high latitudes in winter are always cold enough to produce ice, but a source of moisture is required. Sixty years ago, Ewing and Donn figured out that warm water in Polar Regions would produce ice to cool the earth. When earth got cool, the warm water froze and turned off the snowfall and allowed the ice to melt and warming would occur. Tom Wysmuller told our NASA Alumni Group about this in 2008.

    Climate Theory and Climate Models do not include this ice cycle. They will never be right until they do.

    This ice cycle has been around for millions of years. Over the past 50 million years, earth cooled because the amount of warm water that was circulated in Polar Regions was increased, increasing the amount of ice on land that the cycle supported. The Albedo cools the earth and the ice and ice cold water that is dumped into the oceans and on land cools the earth.

    This ice has a cycle that is very clearly documented in the ice core data and other proxies. Warm and cold cycles follow each other. Earth warms, polar oceans thaw, snowfall rates are increased. This continues until it gets cold enough to freeze polar oceans. Snowfall rates are decreased, ice is removed and earth warms until it gets warm enough to thaw the polar oceans. This robust cycle overpowers solar cycles, greenhouse gas effects, orbit and tilt cycles. These other cycles do cause temperature changes, but they cannot force the temperature out of bounds. The temperature that polar oceans freeze and thaw is the thermostat set point. This does not change. CO2 has no influence on the temperature that the oceans thaw. If CO2 adds heat, the oceans thaw faster and turn on the snowfall sooner. We have warmed, CO2 may have helped, but the snowfall is on and the temperature is bounded in the same bounds as the Roman and Medieval warm periods.

    Greenland and Antarctic are loosing ice faster because that is part of this cooling process that happens after the snowfall rate is increased.

    • “We have warmed, CO2 may have helped,”

      That seems to be a lukewarmer position, AFAIK.

      I agree that water is the buffer system that has kept earth’s climate moderate, compared to Venus, that may have lost its water due to solar water decomposition and H2 loss. I’ve thought that clouds are the more significant factor due to their effect on albedo. But the ice cycle could also account for Venus that was never cool enough for ice to form. Interesting.

      • Bigterguy puts the lukewarmer position as “We have warmed, CO2 may have helped.”. I would add “Warming helps us.”.

        In all the debate about global warming there is the underlying assumption that warming is bad for us. The simple fact is that warming and CO2 itself both have substantial benefits.

        The term “lukewarmer” is a bit weak. How about “goodwarmer”?

      • Mike, we could develop a popular greeting of “Good warming to you!”

    • Most people on all the different sides believe earth gets more ice after something made earth colder and they believe earth gets less ice after something made earth warmer.

      That is backwards. The more ice makes earth colder and the less ice makes earth warmer. The more ice comes after earth warmed and thawed polar oceans. The less ice comes after earth cooled and froze polar oceans.

      Look at the data.

    • Alex, as a non-climate scientist, non-mathematician and non-scientist, I find your explanation of an Earth with a temperature bounded by mechanisms which have manifested over many millennia far more convincing than anything based on short-term trends and modelling. Perhaps Judith is correct in saying that “we can’t rule out large sensitivity and catastrophic outcomes,” but I would say that such possibilities are not a sensible basis for current policy-making. With an always uncertain future, policies which increase our capacity to deal with whatever future befalls – and in doing so deal with many real, demonstrated, present-day problems – are preferable to those predicated on a remote possibility in the fairly distant future. I categorise myself as a “sensibilist,” in the school of mosomoso.

      • Thank you. Not many read and think and comment in favor of anyone else’s theory.

        My goal is to promote the study of Natural Climate Variability.
        We do not have thermometer data that goes back far enough, but we have huge amounts of ice core and other proxy data. We can study and understand the important causes of the robust regular climate temperatures that have been recorded in the earth records.

      • I love Alex’s theory. I can’t believe the climate is so simple, then I stop and strop.
        ===============

      • Agreed. The ice cycle IMO is a hypothesis that fits much more closely with observations over the past 50 million years. Alex’s simple model is worthy of further refinement to accommodate the influence of solar fluctuations, volcanic activity, changes in GHG and the influence of clouds, My hunch is that while these factors on their own would have a relatively minor effect on climate trends, they may impact much more when their incidence is synchronised.

      • Maybe one of the people who like Alex’s theory can explain it to the rest of us, because the way Alex explains it makes no sense at all. No ice means warmer means never ice, right? Something is clearly missing. Probably geology.

      • Alex would probably say that you need to change “never ice” to “more precipitation and more snow” in your comment JimD and you would be much closer to understanding.

      • Warmer doesn’t lead to more snow either, just more rain instead of snow. Science says it is geology that releases and uptakes CO2 in well known episodes. Your lot are saying geology has nothing to do with climatic change?

      • JimD “warmer” is not meant to infer that all temperatures must be above zero, only that more moisture in sub-zero areas (eg near both poles) will result in more snow. It is apparent that the tropical zones never experience snow falls except on their highest mountain peaks and in this instance, geology would be a factor affecting local weather, but I can’t see this affecting long term global climate trends.

      • The majority of the last billion years have had no polar ice, meaning that surface temperatures averaged above freezing globally. Was the Pope theory on hiatus during those geological periods? What ended them? What stops us going back to that state?

      • Jim D,

        Until surface temperatures dropped to the point where ice could form, Pope’s hypothesis was moot.

        Different eras have different regimes. If Pope’s hypothesis explains climate changes for the last 50 million years or so, it seems better than any of the loony climate models pushed by “climatologists”.

        If it proves to be of benefit to humanity in the future, even better. The problem may be that we still won’t be able to make useful predictions – when, where, how much . . .

        Maybe you’ve got something better. If you have, maybe you could sell it to the IPCC. Their present models are at least 99% wrong. At least. Can you nominate one that isn’t? I didn’t think so.

        Cheers.

      • MF, I don’t think Pope said his theory completely fails when there is no ice, so you can take up that argument with him. It also fails when there is ice, because geology and Milankovitch have been the main factors, but that is another subject.

      • Jim D,

        I have no argument with Pope. Unlike yourself, he seems quite rational and reasonable.

        Your Warmist response “. . . because geology and Milankovich . . . ” is just meaningless twaddle. You might just as well have said ” . . . because Hansen and Mann . . . ”

        So far, Mosher’s clue is still missing. You are still obviously clueless. Do you think the missing Warmist clue is hidden with the missing Warmist heat?

        Cheers.

      • MF, it is just science. Don’t worry yourself with it. Clearly not your forte.

      • JimD you have shifted OT. I have never suggested that the ice cycle hypothesis from Alex was meant to cover anything more than the last 50 million years. I agree that the whole history of the Earth’s climate has never been covered by a comprehensive theory, as I’m sure that your beloved AGW hypothesis wouldn’t apply to these epochs either.

        I believe that the Earth’s climate has moved through the last 50 million years within remarkably stable bounds and that Alex’s hypothesis is a good match with current observations and even back many hundreds of thousand years from paleo reconstructions.

        As yet, I haven’t seen anything better.

      • In the last 50 million years we moved from an ice-free Antarctic to one covered by kilometers of glaciers. Greenland too. Arctic sea ice did not exist 50 million years ago. It was a major descent into the Ice Ages that just started within the last couple of million years. Climate changed a lot, mostly in the cooling direction in 50 million years, and the amount of CO2 we are adding could reverse most of that in just centuries. It is a massive jolt to the system that should not be taken lightly.

      • When earth warms, humidity increases. Increased humidity leads to more cloud cover that reduces temperature due to larger albedo. At low humidity the albedo impact is less than the greenhouse effect, so net warming. Thus Earths climate is buffered by the oceans.

        As I understand it Alex believes similar effects are caused by ice as the intermediary.

      • http://popesclimatetheory.com/page81.html
        The cycle of warmer and colder that has happened for more than 60 million years does indicate the ice cycle was working. Anything else would not have had this clear signature of an ice cycle. The resolution of data beyond this time cannot be used to prove or disprove the ice cycle theory. Sixty million years is more than enough.
        Kim said: “I can’t believe the climate is so simple” Ocam’s Razor tells us this will often happen. The right answer is so simple that most everyone can miss it. Climate is not really simple, but this part of the temperature regulation is this simple.
        Jim D wrote: “No ice means warmer means never ice, right?” During the last 60 million years, since the event that killed the dinasoars, the orbit and tilt of the earth has been similar to now and the polar regions always were cold enough that there was ice. The data shows there was a cycle. The ice cycle is the only cycle that has been proposed for any kind of cycle.
        Jim D wrote: “Warmer doesn’t lead to more snow either, just more rain instead of snow.” In Polar Winters, Warmer always leads to more snow. That shows up in the ice core data for Greenland and Antarctic. We can go back 800 thousand years to support this in Antarctic data.

        Jim D wrote: The majority of the last billion years have had no polar ice, meaning that surface temperatures averaged above freezing globally. Was the Pope theory on hiatus during those geological periods? What ended them? What stops us going back to that state? You can go back that far and try to understand what happened. I have studied the time since. Pope theory does not go back beyond where the data does not have enough resolution. I really do think we will never get data with high enough resolution to go back that far. We could guess and say what we think but I will pass.

        Jim D wrote: MF, I don’t think Pope said his theory completely fails when there is no ice, so you can take up that argument with him. It also fails when there is ice, because geology and Milankovitch have been the main factors, but that is another subject.

        Pope does deal with Milankovitch. Milankovitch removed 40 watts per meter squared from the Northern Hemisphere, above 60 degrees and added 40 watts per meter squared to the Southern hemisphere below 60 degrees over the past ten thousand years and the temperatures recorded in the ice core data in Greenland and Antarctic did stay in the same bounds. The ice cycle over powers Milankovitch with no indication that Milankovitch even happened.
        http://popesclimatetheory.com/page85.html

      • Bigterguy wrote:
        When earth warms, humidity increases. Increased humidity leads to more cloud cover that reduces temperature due to larger albedo. At low humidity the albedo impact is less than the greenhouse effect, so net warming. Thus Earths climate is buffered by the oceans.

        I do not disagree with any of this, I did not include it but I should have. Bigterguy left out the snowfall. When it gets cold the oceans freeze and turn off the clouds, but the ice is already on the ground.

        The clouds increase albedo, but the clouds also block IR loss from the warm tropical ocean currents as they move into the polar oceans.

      • Jim D wrote:
        Geology and Milankovitch have been the main factors,

        I have written about Milankovith in this thread. It is not a main factor. It changes energy coming in but the ice cycles clearly over power it.

        I agree with Jim D that geology is a main factor. That is a major part of my climate theory. Continents drifted and changed ocean currents and routed more and more warm tropical water into Polar Regions and that thawed more and more of the Polar Oceans to promote more and more snowfall and that did support more and more ice on land. That increased albedo and increased the amount of ice and ice cold water that was dumped into oceans. Getting the ocean currents and levels right is a main factor.

      • The 21 thousand year cycle should alternate heating between the North and the South, but the Greenland and Antarctic ice core data shows no alternating temperatures, they try to track close to the same.

      • The 21 year cycle should alternate heating between the North and the South, but the Greenland and Antarctic ice core data shows no alternating temperatures, they try to track close to the same.

  4. “We show how the incentive structure in modern science was established soon after World War II and led to the federal takeover of much of science (and all of climate science) and how that can create a systematic distortion in the direction of alarmism.”

    Abrupt changes in nuclear and solar physics after WWII led to the same conclusion.

  5. daveandrews723

    “looking at climate change in a reasonable way”… if only the mainstream media would do this. Unfortunately most of them are totally invested in the alarmist nonsense. They don’t do any critical thinking (which should be their role in society). They know that the scary headlines of pending doom sell newspapers. Their irresponsibility is very discouraging.

  6. Hey, thanks for the review, Judith. Much appreciated. Guess I’ll have to buy Michael’s and Knappenberger’s book to check out the competition.

  7. I’m not a fan of the term “Lukewarmer.” Although, using the definitions provided in this post I fit in that category. I wish we could use the term “skeptic” again. I like that label and I’m proud to be a skeptic and to be seen as one who has a high standard of proof. That said, if the public will understand the doubt we “Lukewarmers” have regarding ECS better if we use that label, I’ll take it. I will not be surprised at all if ECS winds up being below 1, but who knows at this point with the data we have?

  8. I’m probably luke-or-lower, in that even lukewarmers, the prominent, seem mostly atmosphere workers, not knowing Holocene geology all that much. And it still has nothing to do with denial; it’s just still a tad more (geo)-empiricism.

  9. There is no haven in the lukewarmer position(s); climate science is totally wrong, because it is based upon the science of mere weather–alias local and transient processes–with no regard for the global constraint of the hydrostatic atmosphere, or for the direct heating of the atmosphere by the Sun rather than by the planetary surface. Their (your, Judith Curry) scientific incompetence is just as large as the alarmists’. But here at the nadir of the “debate” (or fruitless war of words) to co-opt the public to a science they are not equipped to judge, no one will question their own tragically flawed estimation of their own “expertness”; no one is learning anything. None of you is worthy of the name “scientist”.

  10. Dr. Curry, I generally agree with you on your assessments of the climate issue except for one of your key topics, “the uncertainty monster”. Where does your uncertainty come from, climate models or climate data? If the models aren’t validated with physical data, then my professional experience from our manned space program says, ignore them. I don’t see a lot of uncertainty in available climate data regarding TCR, except for the cooling influence of aerosols that you discuss in Lewis and Curry (2014). And yet, the uncertainty you extract from the observational data in that paper is not that great and certainly doesn’t justify the CO2 emissions control policy our government is pursuing to deal with the AGW threat. But, there is a way to eliminate, or at least, think differently about the uncertainty aerosols contribute to the determination of TCR with observational data.

    Aerosols have both natural and human sources, so if we just assume aerosol concentration variation in the atmosphere will continue as it has for the last 165 years, then future AGW can be projected with TCR(1+beta) where beta is the historical fraction of CO2 radiative forcing caused by all other GHG and aerosols. TCR(1+beta) extracted from HadCRUT4 data since 1850 is 1.8C and only has the uncertainty of the global mean surface temperature measurement that you argue in Lewis and Curry (2014) is insignificant compared to the aerosol contribution uncertainty. If we project future warming with TCR(1+beta) = 1.8C, and reasonable projections of atm. CO2 closer to RCP6.0 than the IPCC’s obviously extreme RCP8.5, we don’t get scary numbers and we have good certainty about the projections of human influence on the climate.

    This is the kind of high-confidence AGW projection I would recommend to support current, but more rationally decided, government policy decisions regarding GHG emissions. This projection can be continuously updated based on incoming atm. GHG data and HadCRUT4 Global Mean Surface Temperature measurements, to make sure the rationally decided government policy in force still makes sense..

    • data is incomplete and climate models are inadequate. Theory has not considered all the possibilities.
      This is the uncertainty monster – much broader than the issue you raised. Ignorance and ambiguity monster, really.

      • There is little uncertainty in the ice core data for the past ten thousand years. There is a well bounded temperature in the North and in the South and we are well inside the bounds and temperature is not headed out.
        The bounds in the North and in the South are about the same. CO2 does not explain the regulation for the past ten thousand years. Solar cycles do not explain this regulation. Orbit cycles do not explain the bounds staying the same in the North and in the South. The thing the North and the South have in common is that their polar oceans thaw and turn on snowfall based on the same thermostat. The thing they have in common is that ice is dumped into the oceans at a faster rate after more snowfall.

      • Dr. Curry,
        Off subject but honestly looking for an answer.

        On the Dr Koonin thread rrstvan said he did not know the outcome of the APS review that derailed after Dr Koonin left.

        Did the effort stop, did APS reissue the previous position or is everything in limbo till after Paris and new funding decisions?

        Scott

      • AFAIK, the APS has not yet issued a final statement on climate change (was expected last summer). So I have no idea what is going on

      • We could know everything perfectly about CO2 and we would not be any closer. The natural climate cycle of the past hundreds, thousands and millions of years cannot be all caused by CO2. Over the past 50 million years earth did cool a lot and the one thing that is different that could have caused this is the ever increasing amount of ice on land.

  11. When discussing two opposite points of view there is a tendency to believe that the truth lies “somewhere in the middle”.
    This is wrong, it is an evasion.
    The truth is what it is, it can be at any of the extremes. We have to find out.
    If we don’t know’ we don’t know, we can’t mask the ignorance under the “lukewarmer” label.

    Lukewarmering might still be a better option policy-wise than extreme hysteria.

    What needs to be shown is the futility of mitigation “solutions” (sun and wind). This is not an unknown, and not debatable. This is a fact. The promotion of these useless contraptions and spending of a trillion dollars on them is something that needs to stop.

    • Hi Jacob,

      I do make that point in the book–that just because we are in the middle doesn’t mean that we’re right and that one danger lukewarmers face is complacency.

      Most lukewarmers (including myself) will tell you that our reading of the data brought us to our position regardless of where it lies on the spectrum of views on the issue.

    • Jacob.

      1. historically we didnt select a middle position
      2. technically it’s the left hand side of the PDF

      since wackos abound it is always possible to describe any position as “middle ground” so the characterization is rather flimsy

      Finally beware of false spatial metaphors especially when applied to ideas.

      • technically it’s the left hand side of the PDF
        But observations, you know, reality, are lower than the low side of PDFs:

        MODEL: IPCC5 (RCP8.5): 4.2C/century
        MODEL: IPCC4 Warming High: 3.2C/century
        MODEL: Hansen A: 3.2C/century ( since 1979 )
        MODEL: Hansen B: 2.8C/century ( since 1979 )
        MODEL: IPCC4 ‘next few decades’: 2.0C/century
        MODEL: Hansen C: 1.9C/century ( since 1979 )
        MODEL: IPCC4 Warming Low: 1.8C/century
        ———————————————————————
        Observed: NASA GISS: ~1.6C/century ( since 1979 )
        Observed: NCDC: ~1.5C/century ( since 1979 )
        Observed: UAH MSU LT: ~1.4C/century (since 1979 )
        Observed: RSS MSU LT: ~1.3C/century (since 1979 )
        MODEL: IPCC5 (RCP2.6): 1.0C/century
        Observed: RSS MSU MT: ~0.8C/century (since 1979 )
        Observed: UAH MSU MT: ~0.5C/century (since 1979 )

      • Steve Fitzpatrick

        Steve Mosher,

        Technically, it’s the left hand side of the PDF from the IPCC’s pool of GCMs. If you select an empirical PDF (eg from Lewis & Curry, or several others), then the lukewarmer position is one that is pretty close to the median…. a little under 2C per doubling. Lukewarmers are only taking the “under” of an over/under bet if you frame the ‘bet’ in terms of predictions/projections from a bunch of very dubious GCMs. I think it would be more accurate to say that many lukewarmers reject that framing; they prefer something more credible.

      • SteveF

        “Lukewarmers are only taking the “under” of an over/under bet if you frame the ‘bet’ in terms of predictions/projections from a bunch of very dubious GCMs. I think it would be more accurate to say that many lukewarmers reject that framing; they prefer something more credible.”

        Historically innaccurate. When I picked 3C it was based on AR4 charts that included Paleo, and observation, and models. Models averaged 3.2 and I picked something less than the mean of the models.
        In my mind then and in my mind now models do nothing to constrain the problem. Like Hansen I think they are the worst source of information.

        Since Ar4 the distribution may have shifted ( I would NOT lay all my bets on Lewis ) but whether 60% or 51% percent lies below 3C is really of no consequence given all the assumptions that go into observational studies and all the assumptions that go into paleo work.

        On other words I will still take the under bet but not offer odds,, which means my expected winnings might be a bit higher for anyone who wants to be a sucker and bet even money that its greater than 3.

      • stevefitzpatrick

        Steve Mosher,
        I was not really talking about you in particular, but about the apparent suggestion that lukewarmers in general are taking the under bet on 3C. I think the sensitivity most people think most likely depends on what estimate technique they find most credible. You may think paleo based climate sensitivity values add useful information, but for me they are eye-rollingly uncertain, and filled with unfounded speculation about conditions which can’t be confirmed…. paleo sensitivity estimates constrain the plausible range than even less than the GCM ensemble.

    • It’s hard to imagine a situation where extreme hysteria is the best policy option. Then again, there is that old wisdom of “If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs…”, which is sometimes followed by “…then your don’t fully comprehend the situation”. Adapt locally to local situations, if needed, is the way to go; nothing about climate is ever “one size fits all”.

      • It’s a self-limiting problem; the hysterics won’t adapt well.
        ============

      • Heh, ‘self-mitigating’.
        ========

      • To use the Brits’ WW II slogan, “Keep calm and carry on.” If you think that that is too passive, apply the version on my new t-shirt, “Keep calm and dance.”

      • Agree Faustino, then there’s the history of dancing
        manias of those LIA non-golden-ages.

        ‘For the most part, the dancing manias [after the
        dreadful miseries of the Black Death, ] present
        more of the characteristics which we associate
        with epidemic infectious diseases of the nervous
        system.They seem, rather, like mass hysterias
        brought on by terror and despair, in populations
        oppressed, famished and wretched to a degree
        almost unimaginable today.’

        Hans Zinsser. ‘Rats, Lice and History.’

      • Are we dancers, or the cut rug?
        =============

  12. richardswarthout

    I agree with Dr Curry; too little is known. IMO Lukewarmers are merely trying to find identity somewhere in the middle of the debate. They know no more and no less than the rest of the herd (h/t Kim).

    Richard

    • err no.

      We were trying to find a name for what we thought was the truth.
      Davide smith came up with the term

      A) c02 is a ghg
      B) humans are putting c02 into the air
      C) if we increase c02 the planet will warm,
      D) we have uncertain estimates for the amount of warming
      E) we take the under bet.

      Now Judith takes the under bet as well… But from a policy standpoint
      doesnt think we can ignore the notion of 4.5C pper doubling.

      • Turbulent Eddie

        There are good reasons for the ‘under-bet’.
        The rate of warming is hypothesized to be caused by the rate of forcing.
        The rate of ten year running increase in total RF peaked in 1989.
        The rate of ten year running increase in CO2 based RF peaked in 2007.
        It is logical to assume future warming rates will be less than what we’ve observed in the past.

      • Turbulent Eddie

        Now Judith takes the under bet as well… But from a policy standpoint
        doesnt think we can ignore the notion of 4.5C pper doubling.

        A thinking person might ask:
        If 4.5C per doubling is possible, why have observed trends been so much less?

        Is the notion wrong?

      • TE – If 4.5C per doubling is possible, why have observed trends been so much less?

        I would think that because we dont fully understand why obs trends are what they are for any particular time period you chose to pick, that an alarmist position cant be ruled out. We just know that CO2 warms and CO2 emissions are likely to continue. 1-4.5 seems like a good reasonable spread with arguments for and against both ends of that spectrum.

      • Mosher, you say:
        “A) c02 is a ghg
        B) humans are putting c02 into the air
        C) if we increase c02 the planet will warm,”

        err, no. You have left out that the system is chaotic, hence subject to strong nonlinear negative feedbacks (which are required for chaotic behavior). Being chaotic, the system will oscillate, as we see it do at all scales of interest, but there is literally no reason to believe that the net effect of these oscillations will be warming.

        In fact generally speaking there is no net effect because the averages also vary chaotically over time. This is known as strange statistics.

        Simply put, you have oversimplified the science, as all lukewarmers do.

      • Moreover, Mosher, you say “C) if we increase c02….”

        Given that this is a far from equilibrium system, it is far from clear that our modest human emissions and sinks (compared to the far greater natural emissions and sinks) are in fact causing the atmospheric increase. That increase is the algebraic sum of all of the changes in all of the world’s sources and sinks, most of which are natural (and unknown). You cannot simply pick one term out of this monster equation and call it the cause of the net change. Another gross oversimplification.

        In short, skepticism is the only view that faithfully embraces all of the known uncertainties.

      • richardswarthout

        Mosher

        Thank you for the comment. I respect your postItion, but see it this way:

        There is a group of about 100 really savy thoroughbred horsemen, gathered at the track and betting. Three horses have their attention and the horsemen can be roughly divided Into groups based on which horse they think will win; each group has solid rational for their pick. The group betting on “Butterfly” wants to so identify itself. Nobody has a problem, but to what end? My answer is to establish an identity.

        Richard

      • “err, no. You have left out that the system is chaotic, hence subject to strong nonlinear negative feedbacks (which are required for chaotic behavior). Being chaotic, the system will oscillate, as we see it do at all scales of interest, but there is literally no reason to believe that the net effect of these oscillations will be warming.”

        Wrong.

        the “system” can be chaotic at one level of description and not chaotic for all metrics.

        You have a ton of proving to do to establish the “System” rather than its components are “chaotic”

      • David
        “Given that this is a far from equilibrium system, it is far from clear that our modest human emissions and sinks (compared to the far greater natural emissions and sinks) are in fact causing the atmospheric increase. That increase is the algebraic sum of all of the changes in all of the world’s sources and sinks, most of which are natural (and unknown). You cannot simply pick one term out of this monster equation and call it the cause of the net change. Another gross oversimplification.

        In short, skepticism is the only view that faithfully embraces all of the known uncertainties.”

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

        you seem awefully certain for someone who embraces skepticism.
        you need to be more skeptical of your skepticism.

        Start with this nonsense
        “it is far from clear that our modest human emissions and sinks (compared to the far greater natural emissions and sinks) are in fact causing the atmospheric increase. ”

        That’s akin to Skydragon BS. please go to their websites

      • “The group betting on “Butterfly” wants to so identify itself. Nobody has a problem, but to what end? My answer is to establish an identity.”

        Trivially true. In reality they dont pick the horse to identify themselves
        that is not their motivation. They discover ( as we did in 2008) that there are like minded people. The identity pre existed the application of the label. Go read Bender’s discussion at Lucia’s

      • Heh, nearly everybody, lukewarmers and alarmists both, take one of the many shades(numbers) of red, forgetting that nearly half of the wheel is black.
        ====================

      • richardswarthout

        Mosher

        “They discover ( as we did in 2008) that there are like minded people. The identity pre existed the application of the label”

        I do not disagree with that statement. A new consensus informally emerges and a name must be given to the group. Why?

        Also, is this new consensus-based finding more scientifically significant than the consensus-based findings of the IPCC reports?

        Richard

      • It is logical to assume future warming rates will be less than what we’ve observed in the past.

        It is logical to assume future warming rates will not exceed what we have observed in the past.

        We have warmed out of the Little Ice Age, we are close to the upper bound of the past ten thousand years.

        We only have thermometer data during a warming phase of an thousand years cycle. I

        It is perfectly logical that the upper bound for temperature of the past ten thousand years is the same for the upper bound of this modern cycle.

    • I find it interesting that the warmist camp have found themselves moving their goalposts and seem to have camped out with their new mantra ‘2C is dangerous’ firmly in the ‘lukewarmers’ (<3C) position.

      I find it hilarious. These people have no shame.

      • No, the 2C is dangerous means we should try not to find out what the climate is like at 2X CO2.

      • Bob,

        What evidence is there to support 2C being dangerous?

      • Timg56,
        I wasn’t arguing that 2C is dangerous, today.

        Is it your position that there is no evidence that 2C is dangerous.

      • Yes, every 2 degree C increment upward in the paleontological record improved the biome, the Earth and its inhabitants thrived. That will be so for every future 2 degree C increment also, even sequentially.
        ==============

      • Kim,

        Evidence?

        You know even in a glaciation, Doggerland becomes habitable for us mammals, is not currently sufficiently dry for us there now.

      • The paleontological record has nothing but net benefit to the biome from warming and net detriment from cooling, with the net effect of cooling much stronger than the net effect of warming, and negative with cooling, of course, rather than positive with warming.

        There is no ambivalence, and there is no symmetry. Warming is good, cooling is bad.
        ================

      • Kim,

        I didn’t ask you to restate your thesis, I asked for evidence.

        You provide none.

      • Heh, ‘paleontological record’ X 2, evidently.
        ================

  13. A lukewarmer is a person who believes in the scientific method for medicine, engineering systems — important things — but, but not for global warming.

    • A few years of observing the climate discussion suggests this is wrong. Although I do acknowledge the existence of nutbars.

    • Well… there is another theory behind “Luke-warmers”…

      The global warmers are aways muttering “Give in Luke! Give in to the dark side! “

  14. Lukewarmers wouldn’t cross a bridge, fly in a plane or live next to a nuclear power plant that were built using models that don’t work. They will, however, consider trashing the economy and science because they live in fear of a society where the productive have a say in how and for what their blood, sweat and investment are spent.

  15. Turbulent Eddie

    A necessary step toward ‘group-think’ is joining a group.

    So I don’t like the label Lukewarmer any more than denier or hysteric.

    However, given that temperature trends have been somewhere between 0.5 ( MSU MT ) and 1.5 (surface) K per century, it’s pretty clear that Lukewarming is wha’t occurred.

    Couple that with the decelerating GHG radiative forcing ( total GHG RF peaked in 1979, ten-year CO2 RF peaked in 2007 ) and it would seem lukewarming is the most logical forecast.

    • How is lukewarming more precise than global warming or climate change?

      • Because the rate of warming is less than even the low end of the range the IPCC laid out.

        AR4: best estimate ‘high’ scenario: 4.0C per century
        AR4: best estimate ‘low’ scenario: 1.8C per century
        Observed Surface: 1.6 C per century

      • “NOAA’s other ocean temperature data set (OISST) that shows no warming since 2003.” ~J. Curry

    • Turbulent Eddie: A necessary step toward ‘group-think’ is joining a group.

      It isn’t necessary to join a group; there is some instrumental value in having a short name for a complex opinion. Such a name is not necessary if you never give a short reference to your opinion.

      You say you don’t like labels? How about “reasonable”? Or “informative” as a label for your comments? Labels need not be intrinsically insulting.

    • confused. when we talk about 3C we are talking about ECS.

      YOU CANT GET ECS FROM 30 years of data , dont beclown yourself.

      you cant even get TCR

      • RF is close to an instantaneous effect.
        Humidity rises within a month of temperature rise in the seasonal variation.
        Sure, some heat may be storing in the oceans ( about 1/4 of the RF ).
        What magical effect are you imagining that will some how amplify things?

        Believing in things that don’t exist is superstition.

  16. I’m really not a fan of this grouping of people into ‘denier, alarmist, lukewarmer’ categories. There are people throughout the debate (admittedly in a minority) who don’t fit neatly into the confines of any category, but nevertheless end up being shoe-horned into one or the other for the sake of taxonomical convenience – because everyone must have a label.
    But if we are to indulge in pigeonholing, I might tentatively identify a fourth category (a third type of climate sceptic) as one who considers natural factors to be overridingly dominant in climate change (past, present and future) but who nevertheless is willing to entertain the twin possibilities that CO2 may have a weak effect upon global temperatures, or none at all – with general disinterest regarding which possibility actually applies! If pushed, I would count myself as in this category.

  17. The problem I have with lukewarmerism, and I think I’m one, is that it seems a little schizophrenic. On the one hand I embrace the uncertainty in dismissing the idea that alarmism is the only plausible scenario. Yet it seems like uncertainty to some extent gets ignored in trying to construct a less alarming scenario. Often that is in the face of trying to invoke physical processes that are among the least observed and for which the sources of variabilty are least understood. I’m mainly thinking of the varability introduced into the climate system by ocean circulation variability.

  18. Presenting reasoned arguments and dispassionate data, Fuller suggests the heated rhetoric be set aside so a rational way forward can be found.

    Just to be clear, the idea here is that we all aim to present reasoned arguments and dispassionate data, or others have to do something first, before this starts?

  19. I think the projections for decades into the future will prove as sound as Malthus’ projections, the great whale oil crisis of the mid-19th century, the terrible horse manure health crisis projected for cities in the early 20th century, Paul Ehrlich’s predictions of doom, and the disappearance of snow and ice in the world that plagues us in 2015.

  20. I have long argued for the validity of the term ‘lukewarming cooler’ for those who believe in the lukewarming effect of AnthroCO2 and the predominating effect of natural cooling. I’ve a lonely tribe, with easy standards.
    ===========================

  21. I fear that we are engaging in one of those tiresome petty debates over the definition of a word. Just last night I was listening to two amateur philosophers arguing determinism versus free will and the thrust of each one’s argument went that the other’s definitions of the words were wrong. They were having a word-based argument in the spirit of Humpty Dumpty who said, “When I use a word, it means just what I choose it to mean.” (If you don’t know where that comes from, try Google.)

    We all know what a denier is. A denier says that CO2 has little or no warming effect . An alarmist says that we’re all going to roast like chickens, those of us who don’t drown when the ice caps melt overnight that is. So far on this page we have as many definitions of a lukewarmer as there are commenters.

    Another commenter here, also an amateur philosopher who once saw a meme about logical fallacies, said that because lukewarmers, whatever they may be, take a position between two extremes, they must necessarily be wrong. That’s exactly the same fallacy as saying that the middle ground must necessarily be right. It’s not a universal law that the truth lies between two extremes, not is it a law that the truth is found at either of the extreme points of a continuum.

    In the climate debate the normal Bell curve distribution has been reversed and the extremes are the most populated. Sure there are some fence-sitters in the middle. There are also some of us facepalming like crazy at the moronic things the extremists say. We are the true skeptics because we don’t believe what either side says until it’s backed up with logic and evidence.

  22. Great Fox article on the Twitter link:

    –e.g.,

    “The American people have every right to be suspicious when NOAA alters data to get the politically correct results they want and then refuses to reveal how those decisions were made.” ~Rep. Lamar Smith

  23. The significance of the hiatus is that it contradicted the 2007 assessment report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which projected a rate of warming of 0.2°C per decade in the early part of the 21st century. The discrepancy between the climate models and the observations raised serious questions about the climate models. ~Judith Curry (ibid.)

    True, true, it matters that the climate models don’t work… to real scientists!

  24. I will read the books before commenting on them. But as to the categorizations, one can easily discern four general camps. There is a substantial alarmist fringe (‘death trains’ Hansen’s sea level 5 meters by 2100, Oreskes, …). There is a large warmunist core who think the IPCC is gospel and mitigation is urgently needed. A number of other political agendas have attached themselves to this group as fellow travellers, most obviously the G77 demand for $100 billion per year via the GCF. There is a small skeptical group pointing out the flaws and failings of the IPCC warmunist processes and prognostications, plus the problems and opportunity costs of proposed warmunist mitigation. Another description of this group would be realists or empiracists (both descriptions permit knowing that one does not (yet) know. Then there are denialists who think CO2 cannot be a GHG, or equivalently that ECS is zero. Sen. Inhofe’s book places him squarely in that group.
    IMO self described lukewarmers (like the authors of these books) are a part of the skeptical group, which by its very nature is diverse. AGW is too complex and good data is too short term for there to yet form a skeptical ‘consensus’ as the UNFCCC/IPCC has tried to squeeze out of climate science.

    • I’ve long said that Inhofe’s basket of bread turned to roses.
      ============

    • I’m in the group that says the alarmist scientists are guilty of hubris on an unprecedented scale. So much of their work has been proven to be junk, they never check their work, and they are grossly negligent, even reckless in their declarations. Not a group to be trusted.

      My prediction for 2100 is that the work of the hockey team and the IPCC will be the base material for college courses on how not to do science.

      • btw — I have a question. In the real world, if someone purports to be an expert, they tell you that they have special knowledge of a subject, that you should rely on their judgment that certain claims are true, and they turn out to have no clue whatsoever about said claims, that person is no longer considered reliable or trustworthy.

        The IPCC and others proclaimed to the world that they were experts on climate science. They said we should rely on their expertise. They claimed that the hockey stick was solid science and extremely important work. Turns out the hockey stick was crap and none of the experts had actually checked the study they told us was solid.

        Why should we believe anything these reckless incompetents tell us now? Why does anyone consider them trustworthy?

    • richardswarthout

      Rud

      Right on. Perhaps the lukewarmers cannot accept membership as realists because that group does not have a compelling belief about the future.

      Richard

      PS Decided to buy a kindle before getting Smoke and Gaia. Will have it Saturday.

    • Rud,

      From my (relatively short in comparison to some) experience this: “There is a large warmunist core who think the IPCC is gospel and mitigation is urgently needed.” Modification to IPCC is accepted when ‘new’ conclusions come along supporting greater climate concern yet when ‘new’ conclusions come along generating further ‘uncertainty’ those are summarily rejected. This has been a phenomena of interest.

      • JCH,
        Show me one (just one) link to SKS, RC, ATTP, or other which does not beat the living daylight out of what could be termed a work of greater uncertainty or reasonably skeptical contribution. (Prove my observation is wrong).
        On the other hand, if a contribution is considered ‘sanctioning’ of the side of ‘those more climate concerned’ one can feel the embrace.

      • Symptoms of Pathological Science:

        The maximum effect that is observed is produced by a causative agent of barely detectable intensity, and the magnitude of the effect is substantially independent of the intensity of the cause.

        The effect is of a magnitude that remains close to the limit of detectability; or, many measurements are necessary because of the very low statistical significance of the results.

        Claims of great accuracy.

        Fantastic theories contrary to experience.

        Criticisms are met by ad hoc excuses thought up on the spur of the moment.

        Ratio of supporters to critics rises up to somewhere near 50% and then falls gradually to oblivion.

      • Jim2,
        Thank you for this link while we await one (just one) from JCH which indicates my (and those associated with the link you provided) observation is inaccurate.
        While I’m not in the conspiracy camp whatsoever, I am in the ‘bias’ camp being the root cause of the results I’ve (and your link) have provided.
        But maybe it’s my bias in finding confirmation of my observation being validated via your offering.

  25. Even the lukewarmer position has become untenable on the basis of both observations and theory:

    1. Lindzen & Choi ERBE papers showed sensitivity of only ~0.18C
    http://hockeyschtick.blogspot.com/2013/01/new-paper-confirms-findings-of-lindzen.html

    2. David Evans has shown, using the same flawed radiative model of the IPCC as the basis, that “The ECS might be almost zero, is likely less than 0.25 °C”
    http://joannenova.com.au/2015/11/new-science-18-finally-climate-sensitivity-calculated-at-just-one-tenth-of-official-estimates/

    3. Kimoto has shown climate sensitivity is ~.15-.2C due to the IPCC false assumptions of a fixed lapse rate and a mathematical error in calculating the Planck feedback parameter:

    http://hockeyschtick.blogspot.com/search?q=kimoto

    4 Volokin et al have shown that planetary surface temperatures are a function of solar insolation and surface pressure only, not GHG concentrations, on all 8 planets for which we have adequate data, including Earth & Venus.

    http://hockeyschtick.blogspot.com/search?q=volokin

    5. The surface temperature and tropospheric temperature profile can easily be derived from physical first principles including the 1st LoT, Ideal Gas Law, Poisson Equation, Newton’s 2nd Law, and SB Law for SOLAR forcing only, and without ANY GHG “forcing,” and PERFECTLY replicates the verified 1976 US Std Atmosphere. Thus, once again, sensitivity to CO2 is mathematically proven to be essentially zero.

    http://hockeyschtick.blogspot.com/search?q=greenhouse+equation

    6. Convection dominates radiative-convective equilibrium in the troposphere by a factor of ~8X, and increased GHGs ACCELERATES convection, thereby erasing any allegedly possible cold-heats-hot radiative effects on the surface.

    http://hockeyschtick.blogspot.com/2015/08/why-greenhouse-gases-accelerate.html

    • the usual spam and shameless crackpot self-promotion

    • stevefitzpatrick

      hockeyschtick,
      The unintended humor in your many posts is probably lost on you…. but not on most.

      • Typical clueless ad hom response from yet another denzien unable to formulate any scientific or mathematical counter-argument whatsoever, thus proving stevefitzpatrick has nothing but ad homs on his “side.”

        Ad hominem attacks, the last refuge of people who have no legitimate physical or mathematical arguments.

    • hockeyschtick: Even the lukewarmer position has become untenable on the basis of both observations and theory:

      I’d recommend a couple more decades of data collection and theory development before coming to such a firm conclusion, especially if you give extraordinary weight to those 6 studies. “A” lukewarmer position is that evidence supporting an ECS above 3C is slim to none. That’s eminently “tenable” right now.

    • While I’m somewhat sympathetic to the no warming school, viewing the phenomenon from a queuing standpoint the latency (amount of time spent in the atmosphere) for EM radiation is greater with more CO2 so at least near the surface it is warmer. If the transparency altitude for the affected wavelengths doesn’t move higher it is only going to be a surface effect.
      In my opinion.

      However we have a February UCB study at both ends of the temperate zone that says 0.2 W/m2 for 22 PPM +/- 30% increased downwelling.

      That pretty much it. Since the warming is little or none in TLT it is a surface effect. Doesn’t matter if I like it or not facts are facts. 1.04 W/m2 for the 104 PPM change since 1900. That would imply a TCR of 2.4 W/m2.+/-30%.

      Now the incremental change to warm the atmosphere 1K at the surface (288K) layer is 5.5 W/m2.

      It seems that the post 1900 warming is a 0.19 °C change due to CO2/GHG. None of the smarter people on the blog that I have am aware have provided fancy physics based justification, confirmed by empirical measurement, that the surface warming due to GHG is more than 0.19C.

      I don’t understand why someone hasn’t pulled the archived model runs and dumped the 2000-2010 data and computed the downward IR near the surface to validate the models. If someone has I would appreciate a link to it. If it hasn’t been done – that says sad things about the integrity of the modeling community, if they have and haven’t published it, that’s worse.

  26. However, I have my own little ‘tribe’, whose figure head is the uncertainty monster.

    I’d like to promote another tribe — cornucopians. A good place for them to gather might be Alex Epstein’s Center for Industrial Progress:

    http://industrialprogress.com/blog/

  27. I think the self-described grouping in the case of luke-warmers is more of a label whereby this group can at least attempt to separate itself from the true deniers and those that point to catastrophes from AGW without good evidence. While I probably associate my stands on AGW more with this group than the other identified ones, I consider myself an uncertain-tist in that what I see as a major problem in these debates is the failure to acknowledge the uncertainty of the empirical and modeled evidence provided by those attempting to make conclusions about AGW. That failure to acknowledge uncertainty is not limited to any particular side in the debates. I think Judith Curry does an admirable job in keeping the uncertainty issue at the forefront of these discussions. Further, I like what Nic Lewis has taken on in attempting to limit the ranges of uncertainty for ECS and TCR.

    There is much work to be done in climate science to reduce the uncertainties or to at least acknowledge when reducing those uncertainties will require some scientific breakthroughs or clearly present a limitation of knowing. We are limited with having but a single realization of the earth’s climate and with the only chance of simulating more realizations being by modeling. That in turn requires finding that earth-like model and running it with numerous replications. Unfortunately that is not happening anytime soon as I see it and the current CMIP5 models are not close in my estimation.

    I also find that many of those who might be categorized in the identified groups on AGW are in that category not so much for their judgment on the scientific evidence but rather their grounding in the politics of the matter. There are those on one side who see unintended consequences of probable government attempts at mitigation for AGW, given the current dominating political philosophies, as something worse than even some rather severe effects from AGW, and those on the other hand that see a major role for government in these areas that mitigation would encompass no matter what the future may hold for AGW. As a self professed libertarian on the political side of this matter I would hope that that stand will not bias my thinking on the scientific side of the issue. I do know I can admit to a lot of warming without calling for the type of government mitigation that I know would be imposed.

  28. Wojick: “You have left out that the system is chaotic, hence subject to strong nonlinear negative feedbacks (which are required for chaotic behavior).”

    Say what?

    “In fact generally speaking there is no net effect because the averages also vary chaotically over time. This is known as strange statistics.”

    It sure is. Very strange indeed.

    For more on “strange statistics”, consult your local neighborhood google.

    http://lmgtfy.com/?q=%22strange+statistics%22#

    For instance, did you know that only 30% of us can flare our nostrils?

    • Mt, perhaps you should study up on nonlinear dynamics, a major new field in math and physics, beginning with Poincare’s math discoveries around 1910 and Lorentze’s discoveries in weather modeling in the 1960’s. I used to lecture on this at NRL, around 1990.

  29. when got warming catastrophic? I remember up to the late eighties that a hot world was always depicted as a bountiful greenhouse. Arrhenius and Callendar were very positive about a warm earth.

  30. Lukewarmers seem to believe in the impossible, but only a little bit.

    Apparently, GHG’s warm the atmosphere, but not very much. Nobody seems to be sure how much, or to be able to provide experimental proof of this most wondrous effect.

    Nobody has managed to employ the supposed effect in any practical way. Given the supposed heat storing and amplifying effects of CO2, a steam car running on heat from a CO2 heat accumulator would be a sure fire money spinner. Cheap energy!

    Combined with a supply of phlogiston of suitable negative weight, the vehicle could be made to fly. But phlogiston is silly isn’t it? Quite unlike CO2 which is well known to trap, store, and accumulate heat!

    Facts are facts. The Earth has cooled. CO2 warms nothing. A vacuum is the absence of anything, and there is no need for an aether, which had to have more and more magical properties.

    As of the late 19th century –

    “By this point the mechanical qualities of the aether had become more and more magical: it had to be a fluid in order to fill space, but one that was millions of times more rigid than steel in order to support the high frequencies of light waves. It also had to be massless and without viscosity, otherwise it would visibly affect the orbits of planets. Additionally it appeared it had to be completely transparent, non-dispersive, incompressible, and continuous at a very small scale.”

    Lukewarmists would no doubt be arguing about the numerical value of the rigidity, claiming the viscosity was just really small, and that almost incompressible would do.

    As it turned out, the aether didn’t exist, and didn’t need to. The finest minds of the time were merely gullible and easily swayed. And so it is today.

    CO2 warming? Only believe in it a little bit? Really?

    Cheers.

  31. I am a lukewarmer but I consider that understanding of climate sensitivity to be a only part of what we need to understand to make (or not) policy, even though it occupies almost all of the space in debates on climate change.

    Whether sensitivity is high, low, or medium doesn’t tell us how much GHGs we will put into the atmosphere. For a while, I thought there might be something like peak oil production which would by itself restrain GHG emissions. That doesn’t seem probable now. But just yesterday I was reading about peak consumption. Somebody now is estimating that in Europe and the U.S. oil consumption will peak by 2030 because of shifts in technology. What technologies will develop in the future that would impact emissions. It is clear we probably have less idea what the trend line will be for future emissions than we have for climate sensitivity.

    Then there is question of consequences. Will temperature rise result in positive or negative consequences? How do we balance a possible increase in wheat production in Canada with a decrease in corn production in the Midwest? Or, fewer deaths and less energy consumption in cold climates with increase of malaria in tropical climates? If we could even measure and weight consequences, what would the curve look like if consequences were plotted against temperature? Would the curve look the same in all parts of the world?

    • James, questions to which, unfortunately, no one has an answer, one more reason to not waste resources on alleged threats rather than dealing with existing issues.

      • And those issues would be..

        You statement only makes sense if you are 100% certain that GHG has no effect on climate. You may be. I am not.

      • James, you asked “Which issues.” Here are some:

        The UN has adopted eight broad “Millennium Development Goals”:
        1. Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger;
        2. Achieve universal primary education;
        3. Promote gender equality and empower women;
        4. Reduce child mortality;
        5. Improve maternal health;
        6. Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases;
        7. Ensure environmental sustainability; and
        8. The global partnership for development.
        http://www.un.org/millenniumgoals/

        Rather than nominate such broad goals, the Copenhagen Consensus Expert Panel was presented with nearly 40 specific investment proposals designed by experts to reduce the challenges of Armed Conflict, Biodiversity Destruction, Chronic Disease, Climate Change, Education Shortages, Hunger and Malnutrition, Infectious Disease, Natural Disasters, Population Growth, and Water and Sanitation Shortages. The Panel found that fighting malnourishment should be the top priority for policy-makers and philanthropists. Given the budget constraints, they found 16 investments worthy of investment (in descending order of desirability):

        1. Bundled micronutrient interventions to fight hunger and improve education
        2. Expanding the Subsidy for Malaria Combination Treatment
        3. Expanded Childhood Immunization Coverage
        4. Deworming of Schoolchildren, to improve educational and health outcomes
        5. Expanding Tuberculosis Treatment
        6. R&D to Increase Yield Enhancements, to decrease hunger, fight biodiversity destruction, and lessen the effects of climate change
        7. Investing in Effective Early Warning Systems to protect populations against natural disaster
        8. Strengthening Surgical Capacity
        9. Hepatitis B Immunization
        10. Using Low‐Cost Drugs in the case of Acute Heart Attacks in poorer nations (these are already available in developed countries)
        11. Salt Reduction Campaign to reduce chronic disease
        12. Geo‐Engineering R&D into the feasibility of solar radiation management
        13. Conditional Cash Transfers for School Attendance
        14. Accelerated HIV Vaccine R&D
        15. Extended Field Trial of Information Campaigns on the Benefits From Schooling
        16. Borehole and Public Hand Pump Intervention
        http://www.copenhagenconsensus.com/copenhagen-consensus-iii/outcome

        Note that neither list includes global warming/climate change. However, societies in which the Copenhagen Consensus proposals were pursued would be in a better shape to deal with whatever future befalls, whether or not warming occurs and is dangerous.

      • Excellent, informative comment. Thanks.

      • Wait a minute! You left off the effort to get poor people more bacon!

      • Natural disasters would probably include extremes of weather Faustino but I agree that climate change would generally manifest itself in a much more gradual way and would impact on vulnerable regions, rather than globally.

      • PS: large-scale surveys of views on 16 issues relating to well-being of those in developing countries all placed global warming/climate change last.

      • PPS: Catweazle links to this in the Bergkamp thread:

        Here is the 2015 United Nations ‘My World’ Global survey of causes for concern, currently standing at 8,581,907 respondents.

        http://data.myworld2015.org/

        Note that ‘Action on climate change’ comes flat last, 16th of 16 causes for concern.

    • It is clear we probably have less idea what the trend line will be for future emissions than we have for climate sensitivity.

      We really don’t have a good number for future emissions. We should not care about climate sensitivity, that is based on climate models that have always been wrong. We should use data from ice core of the past ten thousand years and project the same cycle forward.

  32. Steven Mosher said


    A) c02 is a ghg

    B) humans are putting c02 into the air

    C) if we increase c02 the planet will warm,

    D) we have uncertain estimates for the amount of warming

    E) we take the under bet.

    C) is incomplete (Steven almost always includes what has been omitted). What has been omitted is, “assuming that all other physical phenomena and processes remain constant at the initial states”.

    The more complete statement is an hypothesis that explicitly contains an assumption that is <em a priori<em known to be an incorrect characterization of the physical domain to which the hypothesis is applied. The hypothesis is self-inconsistent.

    Earth’s climate systems are open with respect to energy. Additionally, physical phenomena and processes, driven by (1) the net energy that reaches the atmosphere and surface, (2) redistribution of energy content already within the systems, and (3) activities of human kind, directly affect the radiative energy balance from which the hypothesis was developed.

    I’m a potentialist.

  33. Pingback: Roundup 6 November | Catallaxy Files

  34. I would like to strongly encourage the addition of http://joannenova.com.au/ to your blog list. She is carrying a series of entries by Dr. David Evans (husband)
    showing a major error in current climate modeling, and a corrected version. It is quite a read, but should be worth it. The bottom line, a slight lowering of the water vapor emission altitude has compensated for any increase in the CO2 emission altitude. Result: ECS calculates to be 0 – 0.5 C.

    • I haven’t read it in detail, but what he says makes gut sense. If a driving force is increased, the resulting higher energy will seek all available paths to dissipate into entropy.

  35. ” Increasing concentrations of carbon dioxide and other “greenhouse” gases exert a mild warming pressure on the lower atmosphere, which has been known for 150 years.”

    A mild warming pressure… this phrase makes me grind my teeth.

  36. I appear to be in my own tribe. I believe you cannot predict the future and the only conceivable way to mitigate the impacts of any future event is to adapt. Adaptation with a minimum losses requires wealth and surplus wealth.

    Almost a Biblical thing where you should be wary of false prophets while filling your granaries for seven years.

    People who advocate for debilitating or slowing the growth of the global economy are in my opinion advocating for the death of people and the loss of resources in the future.

    • There are at least two of us. :-)

    • I believe past data does predict the future. For ten thousand years, we have had the same cycles in the North and in the South. The cycles are very robust. In that time, a change in orbit and tilt moved a lot of energy that was coming to the North down to the South. The ice core temperatures in the North and the South both stayed the same.

      You wrote:
      People who advocate for debilitating or slowing the growth of the global economy are in my opinion advocating for the death of people and the loss of resources in the future.
      I do agree with that, and that is why I promote the study of the Natural Climate Cycle. It is Natural and we did not cause it. We are still well inside the bounds of the past ten thousand years. If we prepare to deal with the extremes of the past ten thousand years we will do what needs to be done. If we prepare for the extremes of the Climate Model Output, we will do the wrong things that will kill many people and make all the people of the world poor. Low cost abundant energy is the one thing that can make people in poor countries catch up to the standards in rich countries. When the poor countries do better, it will make the world better.

    • Jeff Norman,

      Quatre. At this rate, our tribe will become all powerful!

      Who says I can’t predict the future? Uh, oh, a paradox rears its ugly head. Out, foul paradox, I say!

      Cheers.

    • We ae not alone. ( theme from Twilight Zone here)

  37. Judith,

    My preferred approach to ‘solutions’ given this uncertainty – decision making under deep uncertainty – prefers robust decision making frameworks and anti fragility.

    I’ve been following this for a long time but I don’t understand what these terms mean in real world. What is the practical meaning of them to GHG mitigation policies for example, at UN and individual country level?

    If they were applied what effect would they have on:

    1. the $1.5 trillion per year the world (mostly OECD tax payers) is spending on the climate industry?

    2. the huge subsidies being spent on renewable energy? (e.g EUR 1 trillion on renewable energy in Europe so far)

    3. continuing to support more, or to unwind existing, command and control policies?

    4. advocating for GHG mitigation policies given they will almost certainly cost far more than current projections and deliver no net benefits from reduced climate damages?

  38. Pingback: Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #204 | Watts Up With That?