Week in review – science edition

by Judith Curry

A few things that caught my eye this past week.

The APS Statement on Climate Change is now officially posted [link], minor changes from the draft.  I will not be renewing my membership to the APS.

Tamsin Edwards has a new paper in @nature predicting Antarctic ice sheet instability [link] …

Climate Engineering Economics [link] …

This is a great exercise in simplifying difficult subjects. General relativity using only the 1,000 most-common words [link] …

New paper: Natural N Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) can modulate hemispheric temperatures by “several 10ths of degrees”  [link]

Self-Irrigating Desert Plant Discovered:[link]

Econtalk: Perhaps Preventing Prevention is Prudent [link]

New paper finds ~1,500 year solar forcing cycles control Greenland climate [link]

Richard Epstein:  Spineless leadership at Yale [link]

“How the Thames was brought back from the dead” [link]

Some evidence that US forests are becoming less effective carbon sinks over time: [link] …

In Conversation: Roger Harrabin and Richard Tol [link]  …

#PNAS paper links offshore plankton abundance to corals’ self-generated pH drop. [link] …

NOAA: U.S. Deaths Caused by Severe Weather Hit 22-Year Low in 2014 [link]

New research IDs ocean areas most vulnerable to ocean acidification [link]

Ice sheets in the northeast of Greenland have started to retreat [link]

Study: Increased deforestation could reduce Amazon basin rainfall [link] …

Why Are INDC Studies Reaching Different Temperature Estimates? [link]

262 responses to “Week in review – science edition

  1. Thank you, Professor Curry, for continuing to insert words of sanity into an insane global climate debate. Thanks to your efforts and ResearchGate’s open policy on discussing scientific matters, the AGW debate may be over before the Paris Conference convenes.

  2. Dear Judith,

    May I ask, has any body been over Antarctica?

    Because see on youtube 200 Proofs We’re on A Flat Earth

    It seems we are a pond in an ice field.


    What do you think?

    Thank you for all your great writing.


    Tab Goode

  3. I hope Professor Curry posts a commentary on the new APS climate statement. Above, she says it means she won’t renew her APS membership. I hope she elaborates. Thanks. Steve Corneliussen

  4. “New paper: Natural N Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) can modulate hemispheric temperatures by “several 10ths of degrees”
    “The response of the AMOC to NAO variations is small at short time scales,”

    It seems the AMOC almost stopped in early 2010 and March 2013 during short term strong negative NAO episodes:

  5. APS: “In particular, the connection between rising concentrations of atmospheric greenhouse gases and the increased warming of the global climate system is more compelling than ever.”

    Actually, I think the new Star Wars movie promos are even more compelling.


  6. Good for the APS. I am sure certain quarters of the media and blogosphere will blast them, but that publicity will just reinforce the effect of what they are saying.

    • “publicity will just reinforce the effect of what they are saying”

      You mean with the 15 people who care what the APS says?


    • Don’t you have a few huffpo links for us this morning, yimmy?

      • WUWT had an interesting worse-than-we-thought paleo sensitivity article last week, but I haven’t got around to posting it here.

    • Good for the APS. I am sure certain quarters of the media and blogosphere will blast them, but that publicity will just reinforce the effect of what they are saying.

      Group think – usually means not thinking at all.

    • Heh. Steve Koonin may write an article on this, and he outranks everyone he left behind in that committee. I imagine lots of physicists are going to think so too.

      • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steven_E._Koonin
        Note that he “wrote the book”, the standard textbook on computational physics. There was a reason the APS put him at the head of that committee.
        I imagine that climate scientists aren’t going to feel that threatened by people like Freeman Dyson and Steve Koonin; after all, they’re out of their specialty. Physicists are likely to be different. I have a physics background, and have friends who are practicing physicists. So far, I’ve heard them say (roughly), “Those climate scientists are probably good people, but if Freeman Dyson and Steve Koonin have looked into their work, and think that someone ought to take them in hand and give them some training in quality control – well, that means more to me than a bunch of climate scientists I don’t know.”

  7. I will not be renewing my membership to the APS.

    2016 hasn’t started, and APS is already better. I love progress.

    • It would be interesting to know the reason(s). I find the three paragraphs in the statement to be fairly conservatively worded. The middle paragraph especially:

      “As summarized in the 2013 report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), there continues to be significant progress in climate science. In particular, the connection between rising concentrations of atmospheric greenhouse gases and the increased warming of the global climate system is more compelling than ever. Nevertheless, as recognized by Working Group 1 of the IPCC, scientific challenges remain in our abilities to observe, interpret, and project climate changes. To better inform societal choices, the APS urges sustained research in climate science.”

      1.) The connection is compelling
      2.) Challenges remain
      3.) Urges sustained research

      Sounds pretty innocuous to me!
      Must be for other reasons.

      JCH I don’t mean to sound El Stupido but how is it better? If you’re implying JCs absence is an improvement, I can’t imagine how. Not that she is so schmarvelous, but simply how could that one membership diminish the quality of the group? I’m sure no one will notice. Perhaps you’re exaggerating a tad for comment (sarc) affects sake. Clever by half.

      • ordvic wrote:

        It would be interesting to know the reason(s). I find the three paragraphs in the statement to be fairly conservatively worded.

        This was my reaction too. I do not find the wording so uncomfortable as to think working outside of the APS would be better. However, maybe not much of a straw was required at this point.

      • MW, from the inside, on what would you work?

      • JCH oops…put wrong place…
        MW, from the inside, on what would you work?

        JCH. Same as on the outside. The point is that I would/do not feel either restrained or estranged by the wording of the APS statement…certainly to the point where I would forfeit a platform for presenting whatever I was working on.

    • I think the last part would be viewed as advocating policy. An equivalent is apparently if a scientist finds something is bad for your health, they can’t advocate against consuming it because that is the policymaker’s job.

      • But JC doesn’t view research as advocating anything and in fact encourages it.

      • The last section is about cutting emissions. It is something JC has difficulty with for some reason, so she claims it is political, and not scientific to say you have to cut down on risky behavior.

      • That is implied! She never had a problem with that before. ie: see her testimony to the committee previously. Lots of implications there.

      • She has problems with the APS doing it too. See previous complaints.

      • Perhaps. Yes.

      • Jim D | November 21, 2015 at 10:33 am |
        The last section is about cutting emissions. It is something JC has difficulty with for some reason, so she claims it is political, and not scientific to say you have to cut down on risky behavior.

        Why would anyone want to cut emissions? CO2 is beneficial.

        The federal government should set a 500 in 50 goal (500 PPM in 2050). Green activism has mucked things up so badly we can’t achieve 500 PPM without government tax credits to the fossil fuel industry, and permanently removing EPA’s CO2 regulating authority..

      • The last section is about cutting emissions. It is something JC has difficulty with for some reason, so she claims it is political, and not scientific to say you have to cut down on risky behavior.

        About half the world has falling emissions already, and given demographics, the other half will soon follow.

        You can stop freaking out now.

      • TE, are there any scientific papers that back up your speculation?

      • TE, are there any scientific papers that back up your speculation?
        The graphic gives you the source:The Edgar Database except for China, which appears to have peaked in 2013:

        Surprises happen when people aren’t looking at things that change.

      • From Joseph:

        “TE, are there any scientific papers that back up your speculation?”

        Why ask? You have repeatedly shown – by your own admissions – that you don’t understand the science.

        Besides, one doesn’t require scientific papers to recognize fundemental facts. You know, as in “We hold these truths to be self-evident”

      • About half the world has falling emissions already, and given demographics, the other half will soon follow.

        No I don’t think it necessarily follows from your graphic that the other half will soon follow. Still just speculation on your part..

      • Tim, I not asking about research related to climate science. And if was so self evident someone else would have written a paper on it and drawn the same conclusion.

      • Joseph,

        There are several means to evaluate information and reach conclusions. Examining the data – in this case the rise and fall of demographic numbers – and identify correlations. In this instance the data shows that at some point emissions either level out or start to decrease in the developed world. That could be due to multiple causes. Or it could be coincidence. You know, the whole correlation thing.

        If you were to look, I’m sure you will find papers, studies, articles, you name it, on demographic trends and impacts.

      • Yes, it is encouraging that the developed countries are reducing emissions while GDP is increasing. This new trend of decoupling emissions from GDP growth should alleviate the main fear of the skeptics that the economy always has to go in the direction of CO2 emissions, and undermines one of their main talking points.

      • Yes, it is encouraging that the developed countries are reducing emissions while GDP is increasing. This new trend of decoupling emissions from GDP growth should alleviate the main fear of the skeptics that the economy always has to go in the direction of CO2 emissions, and undermines one of their main talking points.

        US per capita CO2 emissions have been falling for forty years, so it’s not anything new.

        But it means the best thing for the environment is also the best thing for human beings – economic development.

      • Jim D, GDP growth w/o emissions growth suggests bubble action to me.

    • The little evangelical climate alarmist drones think they can advance the cause by hanging around here insulting Judith. The little punching bag clowns are not very bright.

      • The previous APS statement provoked some very public departures due to using the adjective “incontrovertible” to describe the fact of global warming. This is similar.

      • While I don’t normally take you’re comments too seriously, that one was out of the park funny (made me laugh).

      • The skeptical scientists got a fair airing at the APS’s symposium, where the attendees could separate the wheat from the chaff, Rosner said. The attendees were trained physicists, and at the end, they understood that the skeptical scientists’ “critique of science itself was extremely weak,” he said.

        Pretty easy to identify the true clowns. One MO, they’re sore losers.

      • The skeptics are winning, bozo. There will be a lot of whining and dining in Paree, but nothing will be binding. Show us your BOUNCE!, again.

      • Me, ordie? If you are normal, you don’t take any climate blog comments too seriously.

      • You blithering ding dong, Paris does not matter. You can’t win a darn thing in Paris. Gawd you’re lost.

      • Poor thing. You haven’t got the memo from Evangelical Climate Drone Control (ECDC) that Paree is the last chance to save the planet from The Evil Destroyers (TED) BIG FOSSIL Corporations (BFC) and their armies of paid denier disinformers (that’s us).

    • JCH. Same as on the outside. The point is that I woild/do not feel either restrained or estranged by the wording of the APS statement…certainly to the point where I would forfeit a platform for presenting whatever I was working on.

    • MW – you’ve been around the block.

  8. New paper finds ~1,500 year solar forcing cycles control Greenland climate..
    “Flood events showed similar trend in both records: they mainly occurred during cooler and wetter periods characterized by weaker Greenlandic paleo-temperatures […]. They occurred especially during rapid climate changes (RCC) such as the Middle to Late Holocene transition around 2250 BC”

    2250 BC is one of the much warmer periods in the GISP ice core proxy.
    Believe in 1500 year cycles too much, and that will be all you can see in the data. From what I can see the intervals between colder periods through the Holocene like the LIA, Dark Ages, Greek Minimum, 1200 BC Neolithic collapse etc, vary from around 400yrs to 1200yrs.

  9. I think the “exercise in simplifying difficult subjects” went too far. It undermined useful knowledge of Relativity by treating its audience as ineducable. Not a particularly good approach, IMO.

    Applying a similar standard to climate science, the most important result out of Paris would be a final decision on whether the current climate situation is doubleplusungood or merely plusungood.

  10. New paper: Natural N Atlantic Oscillation

    I regularly look at available papers and general articles on the subject of N. Atlantic. It is amazing how many get it wrong.
    The other day I compared the winter (DJF) CET and the winter (DJF) NA SST.
    This might come as a surprise to some of you:
    – In the winter, for most of the time when the NA SST is high the CET is low and vice-versa.

    There is perfectly good explanation for this minor paradox.

  11. Best thing one can do is to not renew subscriptions or memberships when having difficulty with the direction.

  12. I look forward to future papers on the instability of the Antarctic ice sheet which will at least acknowledge the recent studies identifying greater than previously known geothermal activities in West Antarctica and will make some attribution analysis between the effect of the warm water and the geothermal activity. To be convincing that the instability is recent, let’s see how much warmer those waters are now compared to 100 to 200 years ago.
    In other words how about getting off the inductive reasoning addiction and actually providing long term analyses and conclusions based on observational data.
    The “most likely” rise of 10 cm in GMSL by the end of the century from Antarctica doesn’t send shivers down my spine.

    • There’s a tendency to assume the likely instability is due to AGW while the reality is that the instability is inherent.

    • cerescokid,

      You probably know this already, but maybe others don’t. Antarctic volcanoes –

      “Name Elevation Location Last Eruption.
      Mount Andrus 2978 9770 75°48′S 132°20′W Unknown
      Mount Berlin 3478 11,411 76°03′S 136°00′W 8350 BCE
      Mount Bird 1800 5900 77°16′S 166°44′E 3.8-4.6 million years ago
      Bridgeman Island 240 787 62°03′S 56°45′W –
      Brown Peak (Sturge Island) 1524 5000 67°26′S 164°46′E Unknown
      Coulman Island 1998 6553 73°30′S 169°36′E –
      Deception Island 576 1890 62°58′S 60°39′W 1970
      Mount Discovery 2681 8796 78°18′S 165°00′E Unknown
      Mount Erebus 3794 12,448 77°32′S 167°17′E 2015
      Mount Frakes 3654 11,998 76°48′S 117°42′W Unknown
      Gaussberg 370 1213 66°48′S 89°11′E – Unknown
      Mount Hampton 3323 10,902 76°30′S 126°00′W Unknown
      Mount Harcourt 1571 5153 72°24′S 170°6′E –
      Hudson Mountains 749 2457 74°19.8′S 99°25.2′W 210 BCE
      Mount Melbourne 2732 8963 74°21′S 164°42′E 1892 ± 30 years
      Mount Morning 2723 8934 78°30′S 163°30′E Unknown
      Mount Moulton 3078 10,098 76°06′S 135°00′W –
      Mount Murphy 2703 8868 75°18′S 100°45′W Late Miocene
      Mount Overlord 3395 11,142 73°12′S 164°36′E –
      Paulet Island 353 1158 63°34.8′S 55°46.2′W Unknown
      Penguin Island 180 59 1 62°06′S 57°55.8′W 1905
      Lars Christensen Peak 1755 5758 68°51′S 90°34.8′W Holocene
      The Pleiades 3040 9974 72°40.2′S 165°30′E 1050 BC ± 1000 years
      Royal Society Range 3000 9842 78°15′S 163°36′E Holocene
      Seal Nunataks 368 1207 65°1.8′S 60°03′W Unknown
      Mount Sidley 4181-
      4285 13,717-
      14,058 77°06′S 126°06′W –
      Mount Siple 3110 10,203 73°26′S 126°40′W Holocene
      Mount Steere 3558 11,673 76°42′S 117°48′W Unknown
      Mount Takahe 3460 11,352 76°16.8′S 112°04.8′W 5550 BC
      Mount Terra Nova 2130 6988 77°31′S 167°57′W Unknown
      Mount Terror 3230 10,597 77°31′S 168°32′E –
      Toney Mountain 3595 11,795 75°48′S 115°49.8′W Holocene
      Mount Dimitra 2987 9797 73°27′S 164°34.8′E Holocene
      Mount Brown -500 -1640 76°49.8′S 163°00′E Holocene
      Mount Christos – – 56°15′S 72°10.2′W 1876
      Mount Waesche 3292 10,801 77°10.2′S 126°52.8′W”

      Sorry about he formatting. Just a copy and paste from Wikipedia.

      Who knows? There might be a little ice melting heat available from time to time. Or maybe CO2 causes volcanoes. You’ll need to ask a Warmist about the mechanism, though. Probably something to do with forcings of back radiation. Or maybe not.


    • The British Antarctic Survey, using airborne ice-sounding radar in 2008, located a subglacial ash sheet bigger than Wales below PIG in West Antarctica. The volcano remains active. It’s common knowledge that has to be kept uncommon, a bit like your actual sea level rise and your actual global sea ice levels.

      It’s one of those huge and critical climate-related facts that gets the “don’t-mention-the-war-he’s-from-Barcelona” treatment. And if you want to hold up your end at faculty dinners, you won’t dwell on it. Volcanoes are only good for explaining away past climate, doncha know…Now please pass the salt.

  13. Whenever I read articles or studies expressing concerns about so-called unprecedented changes in the Arctic sea ice, Greenland or Antarctica, I pull out some newspapers from 70, 90 or 110 years ago quoting scientists with the same concerns. It’s a good way to get the gyroscope back.

  14. Why Are INDC Studies Reaching Different Temperature Estimates? [link]

    This helps a lot…………..NOT!

    WRI is a typical green NGO. This is a classic case of trying to micrometer a watermelon. Bjorn Lomborg gets it right.

  15. Lapse Rate Feedback.

    Soden and Held et. al. have figured the Lapse Rate Feedback was a negative feedback:

    But, instead of increasing, the actual lapse rate has decreased.
    That means the feedback has been positive, not negative.
    That means that current warming is actually greater than it would be if the lapse rate was unchanged.

    I have run some radiative model runs which demonstrate this, available soon.

    • That means that current warming is actually greater than it would be if the lapse rate was unchanged.

      I’m not a climate scientist and don’t even play one on TV. But this statement strikes me as odd.

      If the 255K surface moves upward the planet warms. If the 255K surface is constant and the lapse rate increases the planet warms.

      If the lapse rate falls and the 255 K surface moves up you have a teeter totter with the planet surface temperature in the middle not doing much of anything.

      In any scenario a falling lapse rate would be negative feedback because it reduces surface warming. If the surface temperature becomes more similar in temperature to the much colder stratosphere the surface is not warming.

      • So, I compared RF for:
        1. a troposphere uniformly warmed (2C at all levels )
        2. increasing lapse rate ( 3C warmer in the lower half troposphere, 1C warmer in the upper half ) and
        3. decreasing lapse rate ( 1C warmer in the lower half trop, 3C in the upper half )

        The average trop warming is around 2C for all the scenarios, but decreasing the lapse rate increases the emission to space, while increasing the lapse rate decreases the emission to space.

        I was impressed by the significance of this effect.

        2C difference between upper and lower is fairly large, but that produced about 4W/m^2 difference.

        Conceivably, though unlikely, there could be zero change at the surface, but some larger increased still in the upper troposphere which would leave zero imbalance at the tropopause, even with 2xCO2.

      • 255 K is 18.15°C, 5100 m In a standard atmosphere. This is the point the atmosphere is said to “become transparent”. It is where energy in = energy out.

        The lapse rate is 6.5K per km…If I increase the lapse rate to 7K/km the surface is 290.7K


        Do you really change the level of emission or just the spectrum?

      • Because the atmosphere becomes rapidly more transparent with height ( due to the rapid decrease in water vapor with height ), what happens in the upper troposphere appears to be more effective in determining emission to space.

      • The point I was making is that while it is warming there is net decrease in outgoing radiation.

        But once the system hits equilibrium (assuming albedo hasn’t changed) the net outgoing has to be the same.

        All other things being equal, at equilibrium if the earth’s surface was 260K or 300K the net energy emitted from the planet would be the same.

        Unless the net energy input changes (from effects like albedo or solar variation) or the surface temperature is changing, the net output is the same regardless of surface temperature.

  16. Willis Eschenbach

    Dr. Judith, you say:

    New research IDs ocean areas most vulnerable to ocean acidification

    Let me implore you to stop using the alarmist term “acidification”. The oceans are becoming more NEUTRAL, not more acidic. And in our everyday use of the english language, the oceans cannot do both—a solution cannot be becoming both more neutral and more acidic at the same time.

    The term “ocean acidification” is nothing but rampant alarmism. Consider your bogus headline for the article, properly stated:

    New research IDs ocean areas most vulnerable to ocean neutralization

    Which one sounds scary?

    I ask, beg, and implore you to please stop alarming people by claiming that the ocean is becoming more acidic when in fact it is becoming more neutral.


    PS—For those that think my claim is not sciencey enough, this is the language of titration, wherein e.g. you add an acid to a base to NEUTRALIZE the solution.

    • He’s back! “I love you Judith, but…” Are you claiming that there can be no damaging effects on the oceans inhabitants by adding acid to the water? In other words, does adding acid to the oceans make some things in some areas “more vulnerable”?

      • Curious George

        It sounds acidic. Do you use acid … soda? Try Coca-Cola, it contains even a phosphoric acid.

      • Compare the level of “ocean acidification” to what happens when you put vinegar on a salad.

        There’s no reason to demand misusing the language for the sake of neutralizing alarm, just put the issues in context/scale.

    • If you tried to “neutralize” my Grandmother’s Azaleas she would have brained you with a clay pot.

      • Holly Holms neutralized Ronda Rousy!

      • A clay pot would have made it worse, barely.

      • That explains a lot about you JCH.

        Now the question is, did you learn the lesson the first time or did grandma have to go through several of her pots?

      • I acidified her Azaleas, so I never got brained. Old term.

      • I grew up in Maryland, with azaleas’ all around the house. Was common knowledge they like acidic soil.

        One of my jobs was to weed. Mom took care of feeding.

      • The soil for rhododendrons and azaleas should be acid, somewhere between very strong and medium, that is, a pH of 4.5 to 5.5 or 6.0. The pH scale is graduated from 0 to 14. A pH of 7.0 is neutral; reactions above 7.0 are alkaline and below 7.0 are acid.

        Very silly example. Making acidic soil more acidic is acidifying.

        Any claim the average Ocean pH is going to drift to 5.0 PH is foolish and misinformed.

    • Willis is on another one of his silly ego trips. Lecturing a real scientist on a very simple concept that he somehow doesn’t get. Just makes him look like a jerk.Adding H+ ions makes the oceans more acidic. Google:”increase concentration of H+ ion”, Willis. Playing the NEUTRAL card is goofey. A solution can only be NEUTRAL when it has equal amounts of H+ and OH-. You can’t make a solution “more neutral”, jerk. It’s either neutral, or it ain’t.

      • Willis Eschenbach

        timg56 | November 21, 2015 at 5:03 pm


        It isn’t Judith using the term. She doesn’t edit the articles she links to.

        Hogwash. I quoted EXACTLY what she herself wrote, which was:

        New research IDs ocean areas most vulnerable to ocean acidification

        Then your fanboi leaps in before he looks …

        Don Monfort | November 21, 2015 at 5:23 pm |

        That makes him an even bigger jerk.

        Actually, it makes you both fools that can’t seem to read something, not even when it is quoted exactly for you.

        It’s amazing. You guys are so desperate for something to bust me for that you both are trashing your own reputation with your silly claims. Seriously, don’t you have better things to do than waste your lives whining about what I say and bitching about my perceived faults?


      • Here is the headline Judith COPIED from the link, little willis:

        “New research identifies areas of global ocean most vulnerable to ocean acidification”

        You are a pathetic, bitter little clown. Tell us how you make a basic solution “more Neutral”. Do you add NEUTRAL to it?

      • Willis Eschenbach

        Don Monfort | November 21, 2015 at 11:50 pm |

        Here is the headline Judith COPIED from the link, little willis:

        “New research identifies areas of global ocean most vulnerable to ocean acidification”

        Indeed it is. So unless Judith is having someone else ghost-write her pages, she was the one that put it right there in the head post, just as I said. Thanks for confirming that.

        Perhaps an example will make it clearer. Suppose someone headlines a post with the claim that Asians are genetically inferior to Africans

        I say to them “Why did you write such a racist headline?”. They answer “I never wrote that, not once, not me. It has nothing to do with me. I was just quoting the National Enquirer”.

        Well, yes, but it’s THEIR post, and it was THEM that chose the headline and decided to publish it (without quotes, I might add), so indeed, they did write it.

        Judith has a choice. She doesn’t have to repeat alarmist claims, but she did. It’s her site, and her post, and that’s on her.

        You are a pathetic, bitter little clown. Tell us how you make a basic solution “more Neutral”. Do you add NEUTRAL to it?

        Don, I would have expected that you would know that at this stage in your life, but I’m glad to help you out with a quick explanation.

        In order to neutralize a basic solution you add an acid to it, and to neutralize an acidic solution you add a base to it. If that’s not clear, I could repeat it more slowly.

        So here’s my question to you:

        When you add a small amount of some base to the acidic solution, do you say that we have “basified the solution slightly”, or do you say that we have “neutralized the solution slightly”?


        PS—Repeatedly calling me “little” just makes you sound like you are quite concerned about your own size. I mean, why else would you try to inflate your dimensions by claiming over and over that I’m “little”? It’s poor tactics to keep repeating a claim like that, not to mention that it shows a distinct lack of imagination. Surely you could think of other more clever epithets to hurl at me in lieu of providing reasoned conversation … or perhaps not …

      • Willis,

        Try touching the “link”. You will see that Dr Curry typed in the headline of the article, nothing more.

        Congrats. For all your smarts and experience, you have demonstrated that you can step on your dick just as easily as anyone.

      • You are little/scrawny. I have seen a video of you preaching about something or other. Do you want me to provide a link to it?

        Every week some clown rails on Judith for something she has “written” or “claimed” or “endorsed” in descriptions of the week-in-review items. She has many times patiently explained that she is merely transcribing the original description from the source. You have been around here long enough to know better. Why are you making a spectacle of yourself? You are supposed to have the biggest brain in the freaking world and you can’t comprehend simple facts that have been explained over and over.

        When you add acid to a solution, it becomes more acidic. Period. Google:”pH”

        The silly argument that the oceans have actually become more neutral, rather than more acidic, appealed to me about 7 years ago, when I was a full-blown denier. I thought about it for a minute and realized that it’s a silly argument.

        Argue about whether or not the acid that has been and is being added to the oceans is going to cause some harm to the organisms that live in the briny. It would be foolish to claim that significant decreases in pH (increases in acidity) will be harmless to the food chain. Are you claiming or implying that we got no problems unless pH falls below NEUTRAL?

        PS: Would you prefer that the alarmists said that so many gazillions of tons of acid have been added to the oceans, rather than calling it ocean acidification?

      • Willis Eschenbach

        Don Monfort | November 22, 2015 at 1:49 am |

        You are little/scrawny. I have seen a video of you preaching about something or other. Do you want me to provide a link to it?

        When my scientific opponents are obsessing about my physical appearance, I know I’ve won the debate. In any case, I’m 5’11” and 165 pounds, not that it matters. Please do provide the link to the video, however, so we can see how you got it so wrong.

        I do note that you didn’t answer my question about “basification”, instead preferring to continue down the ad hominem path.

        Ah, well …


      • Are you still working on that chaos thingy, little willis?


        It’s really interesting how you handle criticism.

      • I am not going to look for the video, willy. Hey, maybe your suit was too big for you.

        When you add acid to a solution, it gets more acidic. Period. Get used to it. Stop the denier level arguments. It is not helping the skeptic cause.

      • John Carpenter

        Don, adding acid to a base does not make it more acidic if the pH after the addition is still greater than 7. The solution has become less basic, but it’s not more acidic because [OH-] > [H+]. a solution can only be more acidic after the pH is less than 7 when [H+] > [OH-].

      • I hate to agree with Don, but the H in pH means you only count the concentration of H+ ions. More acidic means more hydrogen ions. Acidification is adding hydrogen ions. CO2 adds hydrogen ions. Here is a quote from the Googlesphere.
        “Aqueous carbon dioxide, CO2 (aq), reacts with water forming carbonic acid, H2CO3 (aq). Carbonic acid may loose protons to form bicarbonate, HCO3- , and carbonate, CO32-. In this case the proton is liberated to the water, decreasing pH.”

      • John Carpenter

        Sorry Jim, but the definition of acidic is only when [H+] > [OH-]. And that only happens when pH is < 7. This is high school chemistry basics. When adding acid to a base it is neutralization until you get lower than pH of 7. When adding base to acid it is also called neutralization until pH is greater than 7. You are conflating the definition of what pH is with the definition of acidic.

    • Willis,

      It isn’t Judith using the term. She doesn’t edit the articles she links to.

      • That makes him an even bigger jerk.

      • Don,
        A lot of folks here can be wearisome at times. Willis and his thing about acidification is one example. Mosher and his read harder. Brandon S when he gets off on some point of minutia no one else seems to care about. You when you remind us you are 6’4″ and a hard case.

        Look past it. Everyone I mention has my respect and I don’t let the stuff that irritates get in the way of that.

        PS – didn’t want to leave out Rud and his regular mentioning of his eBooks. I have great respect for him as well.

        PSS – my apologies to tonyb. Got nothing for you on the jerk/irritatent front. Only the respect part.

      • This is a game, tim. Some of us irritate intentionally, just to see who is intimidated and who is man enough to deal with it.

        I come from the Detroit “yo momma is so ugly…” culture. The rough game. This here is strictly for laughs. Although, I must admit that Rud’s incessant hustling of those e-books is starting to get on my last nerve.

        I don’t pass up an opportunity to mess with little scrawny Willis, because he denigrated and dishonored those who served in Vietnam to excuse his own shirking and malingering that he brags about shamelessly.

      • except when its not a game.
        read harder..


      • Get back to us when you get on a computer and can give us something intelligible, Steven. We will be waiting.

      • Ok,

        I kind of get the Willis / Vietnam thing and how it can color one’s view. I was talked out of enlisting at 17 and after a half year in college was in boot camp when Saigon fell. Looking back I am thankful I didn’t end up in Vietnam lacking a HS degree.

        I’m proud of my service and more so of the next generation of my family and all the other families whose sons and daughters have answered the call. Feel sorry for Willis, for he found avoidance the easier path. For ones conscious can can find other means. As an example one only has to see how Navy corpsmen are treated at a Marine Corps birthday ball.

      • Willis didn’t avoid service, tim.e. He signed up and took the oath. If you want the whole sordid story go look at WUWT. The classic example of unintentional irony post by the little fella, titled “It ain’t about me.” LOL!

      • Don,

        I recall reading his serial on it. Failed to find it convincing, but it’s his story. To be honest, my ability for recall is deteriorating. So I only remember he had a story, not the details. The only other thing that stuck was the part about me bot being impressed. Up until then I thought Willis was perhaps a role model. Afterwards I thought he had feet of clay. But I try to keep in mind that one action should not always define your life.

      • Willis Eschenbach

        Don Monfort | November 21, 2015 at 11:54 pm |

        Willis didn’t avoid service, tim.e. He signed up and took the oath. If you want the whole sordid story go look at WUWT. The classic example of unintentional irony post by the little fella, titled “It ain’t about me.” LOL!

        What, no link? And you can’t even quote the title correctly. Here’s the link, for those who want to actually read the story.

        Here’s the funny part. I’m the only one in the crowd to tell my story, warts and all. When you do the same, Don, and you reveal whatever you’ve hiding about your past, then you can rag on me. I may not be much, but I’m honest, which is more than I can say for most of those that attack me. They would never reveal what they’ve done. As someone said above, I have feet of clay … but to listen to you, Don, a man would think you had feet of gold.

        Finally, as I’ve said before, when my opponents in a scientific debate only want to discuss what I did when I was 18, a half century ago, I know for sure that a) I’ve won the debate, and b) they are not proud of their own life history and their own choices, or they would not spend so much time attacking mine.

        Let me close by quoting from my link above:

        You see the problem? It’s far from a simple question. Honoring your word is important to you, just as it is to me. We agree. You think that you should honor the word you gave when you joined the military, that you keeping your word on that is more important than the life of some yellow-skinned guy halfway around the world fighting for his homeland. Me, not so much … we disagree.

        Now, obviously, this is something on which reasonable men can and do disagree. It is not a simple question, there’s no right answer. I wrestled with it myself, as did you.

        But for you to come in and try to bust me because I didn’t make the choice you made, and then to claim that you have the moral high ground here?

        Sorry … in that war, there was no moral high ground. There was no honorable path, no middle road. A friend of mine was a Captain in the Army who was going to be a lifer. He was stationed in Korea. He took leave to go to see what was happening in Vietnam because he was slated to be sent there. Having seen it, he resigned his commission so he would not have to participate in what he saw (and still sees) as the wrong war in the wrong place at the wrong time against the wrong people … you gonna tell us that he should have kept his word and not resigned and happily gone to “kill gooks” because LBJ said so? Because I’d advise against you telling him that, since he actually is a pretty noble and ethical warrior, and won’t be impressed …

        I have friends that made the decision you made. But they don’t put on your airs. They’re not like you, insulting people by claiming that it was some moral crusade and that they made the right decision. They don’t blame me for the path I took, nor do I blame them (or you) for taking the path you took. They know what I know. Nobody came out of the Vietnam War unwounded, there were no right decisions. Nobody made the “moral choice” about Vietnam, Claude. Not you, not JFK, and certainly not me … the most moral act I’ve seen in the context of Vietnam was my friend resigning his commission.

        So go on, Don, and claim over and over again that you made the moral choice regarding Vietnam and I did not… someday you might actually convince yourself.


      • Serfs’ surmise that tony b’s
        the genuine deal, like
        James Hutton out and about
        in his rowing boat et-cet-era,
        investigatin’ geo-logical time,
        gatherin’ data, motivated by
        ‘n oh-so-divine-curiositee.

      • You told your story about fooling the Army psychiatrists to brag about how smart you are. That is not funny, it is pathetic. And if you really believe you are honest, you are delusional.

        I don’t feel the need to brag about myself on a freaking climate blog. Not much, anyway. What I can say, is that I have not squandered the advantages I was born with. And I have never been and will never be a coward.

        What you said about those who served honorably in Vietnam to excuse your own dishonorable behavior is deplorable. That you are proud to repeat it says all about you that any sensible, respectable person needs or cares to know.

        Go to sleep, little dude.

      • David Springer

        One might easily think the cravenness of Willis Eschenbach knows no bound. But here he attacks a girl. So there is a bound. QED

    • Willis,

      You wrote –

      “I ask, beg, and implore you to please stop alarming people by claiming that the ocean is becoming more acidic when in fact it is becoming more neutral.”

      I’m not sure what benefit there is in the oceans becoming “more neutral” when they have a fairly wide natural (I assume) PH range. Maybe they are the way Nature intended. What do you think?

      A snippet so you can find the rest if you wish –

      “Pearson and Palmer (1) concluded that even though middle Eocene (43 Ma) global mean temperature was perhaps 5°C warmer than today, “atmospheric pCO2 was probably similar to modern concentrations or slightly higher.” They suggest “either that Earth’s climate is very sensitive to small changes in pCO2, or that the global cooling since the Eocene was not driven primarily by changes in pCO2… .” This result has led some (2) to suggest that “the whole carbon dioxide paradigm is crumbling”

      There seem to be differences of opinion between scientists. Opinions are worth precisely nothing, of course, unless supported by facts. I am of the opinion that the atmosphere needs more CO2 to enhance plant growth, to our benefit. Your opinion may differ, but I stick with mine unless you can provide facts to induce me to change my mind.

      So far, no one has, but I live in hope. Surely I can’t be right, and all the lunatic Warmists wrong, can I? That would be a bit of a travesty!


  17. Willis Eschenbach

    I found Tamsin Edward’s article interesting, but ultimately flawed. She says:

    “We used a computer model to simulate the Antarctic ice sheet from the recent past up to the year 2200: not just once, but 3000 times. Each version was slightly different to account for ‘known unknowns’ in the physical laws and simplifications describing how ice flows and slides, the map of the bedrock beneath the ice sheet, and when instability might be triggered in each region under the mid-high climate scenario called A1B. This gave us a range of model predictions for sea level rise: three thousand possible futures fanning out from today.

    We compared the simulations of the recent past with observations from the region we think is already unstable, and gave each a score from best to worst. We used the scores to give greater weight to the model versions that were most realistic: those with the most successful simplifications of the physical laws.

    Testing our model with observations means we are more confident in its predictions, and the statistics mean we can quantify how confident. Crucially, that means we could put a probability on any possible value of sea level rise from Antarctic instability. We predict there is a 1 in 20 chance it will be more than 30 cm by the end of the century, a 1 in 6 chance it will exceed 21 cm, a 50:50 chance of exceeding 12 cm, and so on.”

    While I am glad that she is “more confident” in her model, there is an implicit assumption in this, which is that their whiz-bang computer model has a) fully and b) impartially examined the total parameter space. Unfortunately, while she admits that there are “unknown unknowns”, she seems oblivious to the fact that she needs to include them in her analysis.

    I do have to admire her hubris, however, in believing that a computer model can give us accurate probabilities of uncertain weather-related events two hundred years from now, when it cannot give us accurate probabilities of uncertain weather-related events next year …

    Finally, she seems to think that the fact that some of her computer model runs are similar to historical reality means something. I would advise her to pay more attention to the warnings that brokerage houses are required by law to put on their products, which say:

    Past performance is no guarantee of future success.

    Lots of folks have gone broke in the stock market making the exact same error that she is making, in assuming that in-sample results mean something about out-of-sample results. They might mean something … but much, much more often, they don’t.

    And where is that warning in her vaunted probabilities? … well, near as I can tell, she has just ignored that inconvenient fact …


    • Curious George

      3000 times zero is a zero.

    • As a software developer I can assure Tamsin Edward that if her code is bad or her model is wrong she can run the code 100,000 times and still not produce useful results.

    • If the suite of “successful” models are really predictive, she should be able to pick a point in the past, apply the models and they replicate the past beyond that point. Do that 500 times with each “successful” model for 20 points in the past. See how they do.

    • It’s always interesting to note the absolute faith people place in the accuracy of computer programs or applications.

      If anyone can find a way to prove a non-trivial computer program is error free, the IT world will fall at their feet. It’s even worse when amateur programmers who claim to be climatologists are involved.

      But it’s even worse than that. Digital computers, by their very architecture, have finite precision. Unfortunately, chaotic systems cannot be relied on to produce approximately the same results given inputs which only vary by a value beyond the limits of the computer architecture. Generally, this will be a binary architecture, and there is always a value between the last zero/one pair at the digital computer’s limit of precision, which cannot be represented.

      A practical example is shown by the efforts to predict the stock market sufficiently well to make money on each transaction, which would be theoretically possible, if the the stockmarket movement are truly chaotic and deterministic.

      Alas, the best and the brightest, backed by the finest computer equipment, are unable to do better than throwing darts at a board, assisted by human luck. The stock market movements appear childishly trivial compared with the infinitely complicated movements of the various components of the Earth system.

      There’s probably a chance of an afternoon storm here. The BOM, with its greatly superior pool of talent and equipment, agrees. A couple of days ago, they forecast a 10% chance of rain. It didn’t, but then again they didn’t say it would. I figure there’s a fair chance of rain. The Wet season started over a month ago, and we haven’t seen much rain yet, but I’m sure it will come. So is the Met Bureau, apparently, super computer models and all.


      • Not to mention the exponential propogation of floating point inaccuracies.

        Nor the way that computers can’t mimic a continuous space-time. Meaning that they can miss one of the climate system’s abrupt movements.

  18. New paper finds ~1,500 year solar forcing cycles control Greenland climate

    I didn’t see the evidence for solar forcing, and they did not claim any in the abstract or discussion. Is it implicit in something, or did I miss it outright?

  19. I could use some help. I am looking for a plot of global surface temperatures from ~1995 through 2014, that includes HADCRUT4, new NOAA, BEST, and also if possible GISS and CW. Does anyone know of such a figure (the ones i have are missing new NOAA, or don’t go back far enough.

    Thanks for any help that you can provide

  20. Harrabin tries his best to push Tol onto the alarmist bandwagon, but fails.
    While I don’t agree with all of Dr. Tol’s views, nonetheless the above interview reinforces my respect for his personal and professional integrity.
    If the measure of a man is his enemies, Dr. Tol stands tall indeed.

    • Ticketstopper

      The tol interview was part of a half hour radio programme on climate change on the BBC . There were some 8 or 9 other short interviews including one with tamsin Edwards.

      If you can get Internet radio the next one is on Monday at 8 pm on radio. Four.

      The programme was quite good and relatively even handed bearing in mind harrabins activist background.


      • TonyB,

        I read half the BBC interview with Richard Tol. I thought the interviewer was absolutely disgraceful. he should be sacked. He interrupted all the way through pushing his own beliefs.

        I am getting more an more concerned about where this new Green religion / Climate Cult / group think / herd mentality or whatever it is, is leading us. Is it a return to pre-Enlightenment? Is it the sort of rot that set in and brought down previous empires?.

  21. The APS statement has this: In particular, the connection between rising concentrations of atmospheric greenhouse gases and the increased warming of the global climate system is more compelling than ever.

    I can see how someone would be seriously disappointed in that. Will they publish dissenting and assenting opinions from members?

    • Curious George

      I see a compelling evidence of the connection between Down Jones and the increased warming.

    • Amazing, they wrote it before RSS started its upward ACO2 surge. It’s a pole vaulter, so the ultimate height of its spike could be awe inspiring.

      • Yes, it’s also amazing how your upward surge disappears if you remove the last two samples

      • Now, don’t fool yourself. Obviously you’re determined.

      • You’re the determined one around here.

      • Haha. Up it goes. Hide your eyes.

      • You can’t determine anything from the last two samples.
        Had you done the same analysis a few months ago, when the most recent sample was 2015.25, you may well have come to the opposite conclusion.
        Some of us know how to avoid fooling ourselves.

      • No, I would not have. RSS makes big jumps or dips in response to El Nino or La Nina conditions. I’ve talked about it for a long time. When they are relatively balanced, RSS is capable of accidental accuracy on the surface air temperature. When they are imbalanced, it’s way off and it will fool lots of very smart people: see comments mentioning 18-year pauses.

        You’re smarter than me so it is you who needs most to worry about fooling yourself.

      • You guys are always disdainful of the RSS dataset, telling everyone how it’s not to be trusted – except it seems when it appears to fit in with what you’re saying.
        Personally, I’d prefer to see more than just the last two samples of an ‘untrustworthy’ dataset, before nailing my colours to the mast.

      • I am disdainful of people who think RSS is evidence of a 18-year pause in warming of the surface, as is its chief scientist.

      • Just wait til next year when a big spike in temps only exists when using satellite data and arctic atmospheric temps.

      • Depends on whether or not we’re in a positive phase of the PDO or an anomalous blob that quickly reverts back to a negative phase.

        You have not seen GMST in a ramp up of the PDO since 1970-1883. La Nina is a completely different animal during a ramp up.

      • I shall reserve judgement until I’ve seen a lot more – and that includes judgement on the ‘pause’

    • “In particular, the connection between rising concentrations of atmospheric greenhouse gases and the increased warming of the global climate system is more compelling than ever.”

      I think all critical rationalists should be disappointed with that statement.
      Ref: The logic of scientific discovery Chapter 8 Scientific objectivity and subjective conviction:
      “a subjective experience, or a feeling of conviction, can never justify a scientific statement … Can any statement be justified by the fact that someone is utterly convinced of its truth? The answer is, ‘No’; and any other answer would be incompatible with the idea of scientific objectivity. .. one thing must be clear: if we adhere to our demand that scientific statements must be objective, then those statements which belong to the empirical basis of science must also be objective, i.e. inter-subjectively testable. .. there can be no statements in science which cannot be tested, and therefore none which cannot in principle be refuted, by falsifying some of the conclusions which can be deduced from them.”

      The subjective statement by American Physical Society also demonstrates that APS has failed to reveal that United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is governed by guidelines putting subjective statements into system – their qualitative system for “level of confidence” – and that subjective statements is polluting the assessment reports by IPCC.
      Ref: “Guidance Note on Consistent Treatment of Uncertainties by IPCC”

    • @matthewrmarler

      I can see how someone would be seriously disappointed in that. Will they publish dissenting and assenting opinions from members?

      That statement indeed is the one the gives me the most difficulty. I eventually came down with acceptance hanging by thread. ‘Connection’ is the ambiguous weasel word for me [with respect to weather I would drop membership. [For the record I have not been a member [APS/AGU] since the 90’s, but that reflects changes in professional interests.]


  22. “…climate engineering technologies can be incorporated into future domestic and global climate policy design. More research on the topic is needed.”

    More research on the topic needed? A minor courtesy before they start breeding white attack elephants instead of mere white solution elephants? Got a lazy trillion for iron dumping, roof painting or aerosol pollution?

    C’mon, people. Cancel that climatariat before it cancels you. I know I keep saying that, but we really should do it, you know.

  23. I tried and failed to find an un-paywalled version of the climate engineering paper. But I did find this:

    Impacts, risks, and governance of climate engineering by Liu Zhe, Chen Ying Advances in Climate Change Research DOI: 10.1016/j.accre.2015.10.004


    Climate engineering is a potential alternative method to curb global warming, and this discipline has garnered considerable attention from the international scientific community including the Chinese scientists. This manuscript provides an overview of several aspects of climate engineering, including its definition, its potential impacts and risk, and its governance status. The overall conclusion is that China is not yet ready to implement climate engineering. However, it is important for China to continue conducting research on climate engineering, particularly with respect to its feasible application within China, its potential social, economic, and environmental impacts, and possible international governance structures and governing principles, with regard to both experimentation and implementation.

    It’s interesting and open access.

  24. The Tamsin Edwards ‘Antarctica – chance of instability contributing to sea level rise by 2100’ link goes to a Guardian article that she wrote. It’s amazing – in a bad way.

    Here’s the “science”:
    “We predict there is a 1 in 20 chance it will be more than 30 cm by the end of the century, a 1 in 6 chance it will exceed 21 cm, a 50:50 chance of exceeding 12 cm, and so on.”
    “…wild card, pessimistic outcome … We find even half a metre is outside the bounds of physical plausibility in our model,…”
    “1 in 20 chance Antarctic instability will contribute less than 5 cm by 2100.”

    What is “predicting a chance”? It’s just a fancy way of saying “providing odds”. Like a book maker at a racetrack.

    Bookies know if there’s a meet on, which racetrack it’s at, what horses are running, how they’ve run before, the weight of the jockeys, whether it rained 4 days or 3 days before the race etc etc. Known knowns. That’s how bookies develop odds.

    They might know if horse A had an injury on the way to the track if they maybe hear some gossip from the strappers, and they might know if a trainer is juicing up horse B if they hear some gossip from the vets, and they might know if jockey C is hungover from social media. But they’ll never know if one of, by way of example, one of Emily Pankhurst’s suffragettes is at the meet and ready to run out onto the track and disturb the race. Or whether the horse is sad. etc etc. Unknown unknowns.

    That’s why people call it gambling when you place a bet with a bookie.

    Tamsin doesn’t know everything there is to know about Antarctica. There’s so much missing from her here-to-2100 bookmaking. Heaps more than a bookie would miss about a horse race.

    How Tamsin can walk around passing this stuff off as science when it’s nothing but too-expensive wild speculation unbefitting of a bookmaker is beyond me.

  25. Sounds like it’s time to crowd fund a proper GHG thermodynamics experiment. The only ones I can find are on CO2 lasers from the 1970s which talk of the phenomenon of kinetic cooling (which I’m reading as cooling which counteracts the absorption and haven’t managed to find a net warming of cooling figure).

    The only question is which form of experiment would be obvious enough to convince the GHG warming believers they are wrong, based on whatever they think their theory of GHG warming is.

  26. I am in a funk. Why are my predictions so wrong? I have tried to predict the future, the future global temperature, and I am consistantly wrong, The summer will be warmer than the winter by how much? This winter, the Great Lakes will freeze over, really? The best minds and data sets give me clues, and then, they are wrong. I struggle. I really struggle.

    • RiHo08,

      Maybe your chicken entrails are past their use by date. Did you recharge your runes before you cast them?

      Why waste money on entrails or runes? Climatologists will provide an endless supply of incorrect predictions at no charge to you personally.

      Courtesy of the Government. Here to help.


  27. Tamsin Edwards has a new paper in @nature predicting Antarctic ice sheet instability:

    “Four decades later, recent studies have suggested part of the West Antarctic ice sheet is indeed unstable, triggered by warm water flowing onto the continental shelf for at least a few decades. We don’t yet know if humans have made this more likely, and until now we also haven’t had confidence in predictions of how much sea level rise could result from this region and others that could become unstable from climate change.”

    Well, better do something (what?) about it.

    Then there is La Palma, which is estimated to have up to a 300+ feet tsunami on the eastern sea board. What to do about that?

    Or a meteor.

    I’m not sure what all this has to do with Global Warming, but hey. Anything for a headline.

    These things will happen, sometime, no doubt, but what to do about them?

  28. Judith

    It is not my business to tell you what societies to join or how you spend your money, but you have a far better opportunity to exert influence on a society that you belong to than one you don’t.

    “You never change things by fighting the existing reality.
    To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”

    ― R. Buckminster Fuller


    • Well I expended a nontrivial amount of effort for the APS: I served on the executive committee of the Topical Group on Climate, I attended several meetings and gave invited presentation, I attended the POPA workshop for the policy statement, and I coordinated some responses to their policy statement. If a big shot/insider like Steve Koonin couldn’t crack that nut, then not much for someone like me to do.

      At this point, my energy and time is directed at the American Meteorological Society.

    • If you can´t fix it – toss it – go for a new one. Who needs scientific societies which endorse unscientific principles. New ones will grow up. Obsolete societies will have to evolve or go extinct.

      The great difference between a scientific society and IPCC is that you can choose to not be a member of a scientific society. Regarding IPCC we cannot choose. IPCC has been established by United Nations for us. I´m not sure how that relates to our human rights, but it sure doesn´t feel good:
      “The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government; this will shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections “

  29. RealClimate seems to be gone. A pity. I used to enjoy the performances of the Climate Clowns.

    A heady mix of evasion, misdirection, fact juggling, dodging, wriggling and avoiding. Will they be back, the adorable little scallywags? One can only hope.


  30. Looks like someone (or something – bizarre) has taken over the RC website as from this morning.
    Don’t go there, it’s scary, creepy, sinister ! Much worse than we thought. :)

  31. Geoff Sherrington

    Prof Richard Epstein graciously accepted our corporate invitation to visit Australia for a private seminar some 30 years ago. A long day was not adequate to plumb the depths of his thinking on property rights.
    It is a measure of ?something? that we in Oz are still grappling, not only with property rights issues, but also with freedom of speech, the 18c problem, that time and again Richard has clarified so well. It takes particularly screwed up, ideologically motivated leftist politicians to do their worst with it, as they are.
    Good wishes and thanks, Richard, if you are reading this.

  32. “The APS Statement on Climate Change is now officially posted [link], minor changes from the draft. I will not be renewing my membership to the APS” – JC.

    They’ll probably get over it.

  33. Geoff Sherrington

    The Roger Harrabin/Richard Tol piece has cause for concern, an outcome that is not uncommon at the interface of climate ‘science’ and economics.
    Here is one example, when a discussion is seeded by the assumption of further sea level rise in Bangladesh, with Harrabin joining in and egging on.
    In terms of acceptable, hard science, we might be seeing a past global rise in the last 200 years of some 2 mm per year. Starting with that seed, Tol assumes that it is due to GHG warming and that it will continue for long enough to end up with a regional war or two.
    Now, there is very little scientific observational data of the deeper 50% of world oceans. It is possible to likely that there are deep ocean processes of the unknown knowns type that are a significant driver of sea levels but have nothing to do with GHG. The steady measured rise during the hiatus is a bit inconvenient.
    Yet here we are, blithely skipping from data limited theories about GHG and sea level change to maybe nuclear conflict around the Pakistan region.
    That narrative jump is simply over a bridge too far.
    Better to spend time and money on gathering more scientific data than to go telling extrapolations that are little more than unscientific hot whoppers.

    • Now, there is very little scientific observational data of the deeper 50% of world oceans. It is possible to likely that there are deep ocean processes of the unknown knowns type that are a significant driver of sea levels but have nothing to do with GHG.

      Hold much thermal contraction can there be?

      • Geoff Sherrington

        I did not mention thermal contraction. It is, on paper, but one of a number of unknown knowns. I do not wish to contract my broad assertions to accommodate what might be a distracting hobby horse.

      • JCH,

        What the heck has thermal contraction got to do with sea levels? Embrace the 20th century. The continents move – up, down, and sideways. Of course sea levels have to change.

        Are you chasing the Warmist Wally of the Year Award? You’ve got a fair bit of competition to overcome, but you’re in with a chance. Good luck!


    • I would note the specific context: Dr. Tol said that even were the worst case scenario to occur – and Bangladesh were to flood – it wouldn’t happen for a long, long time. And he noted that Bangladesh and the Netherlands are similarly situated in terms of sea level, but the Netherlands has handled it while Bangladesh has not. And furthermore that this is because of development.
      Essentially he sliced through the alarmist scenario like a hot knife through butter: yes, this problem can occur. But this problem is miniscule compared to so many others.
      This is why Dr. Tol is vilified by many of the activitsts on the CAGW front: he is a believer in the worst case IPCC scenarios, but STILL doesn’t think it is so big a problem that everything else should be dropped.

  34. It sure appears that quite often here at CE, that the “most vocal” folks twist Dr. Curry into something she’s not (said) when she disagrees with consensus views on GW.

    (1) Dr. Curry has repeatedly said her “best guess” is that mankind’s contribution to GW is “probably about 50%. She clarified this further this year, but I can not find the exact post — where I thought she said that mankind’s contribution is probably between 25% and 75%. Anybody know of the “exact” post on this?

    (2) Dr. Curry is not against all mitigation efforts. In her Congressional testimony, Dr. Curry’s voice reflected a high degree of irritation when she responded to a Democrat’s claim that she was. She has written very favorably on Fast Mitigation (smog, methane, black carbon, HFCs).

    • You’ll find no disagreement from me – nice to see a voice of reason from the ‘other’ side.

    • can you imagine how many brains would fry if denizens and republicans simply adopted Judith’s position?

      I mean seriously… instead of spouting stupid arguments about hockey sticks and karl, and trace gases, and vostok ice cores, and all the side shows… Imagine of folks just said.

      Yes, I believe in climate science… Like Dr Curry I think mankinds contribution is 25-75%

  35. Geoff Sherrington

    Steven M,
    Science does not advance via counting personal beliefs.
    Science advances from postulates, measurements, data, interpretation etc.
    At present, there is no known hard science way to differentiate overall anthropogenic from natural effects.
    Judith gave a conversational opinion in the context of enhancing her blog, a task at which, in my opinion, she performs magnificently. My opinion does not matter.

    If you seek a global summary statement, it should be like “There is no known, accurate way to differentiate the main parts of global warming hypotheses into anthropogenic and natural portions.”

    Of course, many are reluctant to make this assertion because the development of global warming hypotheses was predicated on being able to differentiate. If my statement is correct, there is no reason to go to Paris this month.

    Can you prove me wrong by giving a couple of examples where you believe this differentiation is proved? And, I mean much better than the customary “Read AR5”.

  36. Just a thought.

    Gavin Schmidt claimed 2014 was the warmest year EVAH, with a 38% probability.

    If I claim it WASN’T the warmest year EVAH, with a 62% probability (according to Schmidt), who was right, given the relative livelihoods?

    Isn’t 62% more probable than 38%? Or is this another case of post normal Warmist mathematics, where less is more, more is less, and facts are irrelevant?


  37. Absolutely EVERYONE (politician or otherwise) who believes the hoax that carbon dioxide warms the surface is gullible, usually because of an inadequate understanding of the physics involved in determining planetary surface temperatures and explaining the necessary heat transfer mechanisms.

    Not a single hoaxer I’ve ever seen writing blog comments is actually able to explain with valid physics why the mean surface temperature of th Earth is what it is. They completely overlook the T^4 relationship in Stefan-Boltzmann calculations just for starters. They think that the effect of uniform flux is the same as the effect of variable flux with the same mean as the uniform flux, whereas the temperature attained by the variable flux is far, far colder. In fact it is not radiation at all which determines a planet’s surface temperature.

    Yet, even though they obviously don’t understand or even know about the mechanism which does determine that surface temperature, they presume to understand what the mechanism is which they claim will lead to a warming of that surface temperature supposedly all caused by one molecule of you-know-what in each 2,500 other molecules in our atmosphere.

    Oh well, if anyone happens to be interested in finding out what the real mechanism is that has been confirmed as correctly explaining all planetary temperature data, they could spend a couple of hours studying what I have spent many thousands of hours working out here and confirming with studies and experiments.

  38. More or less relevant.

    Ice at 0 C emits over 300 W/m^2.

    Now try to brew a cup of tea by boiling some water using that 300 W/m^2. Leave your kettle exposed for a few days in front of a glacier, if it’s a bit slow to warm up.

    You could try using a large lens, or parabolic mirror to concentrate the energy emitted by the ice, if things aren’t going too well. It’s just basic post normal Warmist physics. After all, a few watts per square meter from CO2 is enough to warm the Earth by 33 C or so, isn’t it?

    Fifty or a hundred times that should be enough to boil a kettle, surely!


  39. Mike, are you serious? If yes, you need to study physics (thermodynamics, heat transfer) before commenting.

    • edimbukvarevic,

      Of course I’m not serious. Warmists seem to believe that a cooler body can raise the temperature of a warmer body.

      Plainly ludicrous. I was pointing out the Warmist stupidity of confusing wattage with temperature with useable heat energy. It’s about as stupid as trying to power a ship by extracting energy from the water through which it travels, leaving ice blocks in its wake!

      Nonsense, as is magical CO2 warming!


      • Mike, I don’t think warmists believe that a cooler body can raise the temperature of a warmer body in that manner (like in your ice water example).

        If you make the cold body warmer, but keep it still colder than the warm body, it will make the warm body warmer than before.

      • edimbukvarevic,

        I’m not sure whether I understand you correctly. If I place a kettle of warm water in front of in front of a block of ice at -20 C, and then heat the block to -10 (warming it of course), I don’t believe the water in the kettle will increase its temperature. Totally surrounding a container of water with ice at -40, -30, -20, or -1 C, will not cause the temperature of the water to increase.

        It will slow the rate at which the water freezes, but of course the temperature of the water does not rise at any time. I assume you agree. If my assumption is incorrect, I would be grateful if you could point to an actual physical experiment which contradicts my understanding.

        Analogies don’t count of course, neither do thought experiments. I think I’m right, but I bow to experimental evidence.


      • Mike,

        Yes,a kettle of warm water without any energy input cannot ever warm (increase its temperature). It can only cool or keep its temperature constant (in special case of being in equilibrium with its surrounding).

        However, if you add energy to the kettle at some constant rate (a weak electric heater for example), so that it loses the same constant power to its surrounding, you will have a steady state with constant water temperature.

        Now, if you decrease the energy loss rate by making the surrounding less cold, the water in the kettle will warm (increase its temperature) until the cooling rate equals the (constant) warming rate of the electric heater (new steady state with higher water temperature).

      • Edimbukvarevic,

        You are absolutely correct. You are obviously not a very good Warmist. They will kick you out if you persist with understanding physics.

        In your example, (and mine), the ice cannot be warmer than its freezing point, let us say 0 C. Now let us progressively reduce the amount of energy to the kettle. The temperature will not rise, but we agree it will not fall as fast as it would if the ice was at -40 C. When the amount of energy supplied to the kettle is reduced to zero, the kettle must, of course, freeze to the temperature of the surrounding ice.

        May I now transition from my example of the silliness of increasing the temperature of a warmer object by 300 W/m^2 of radiation from a cooler one, be it back radiation or not, to the analogy which the kettle and the ice can represent.

        The kettle is the Earth. The ice is the near vacuum of outer space, at a temperature of around 4 K. You added a heating element as the Earth’s internal heat source. I’ll add an electric radiator heating the kettle from afar – the Sun.

        Now the Earth’s total energy supply, both external and internal, has been insufficient to stop the Earth from cooling from its initial molten state. The Earth’s internal energy supply is decreasing, as it loses its remnant heat of creation, and its supply of radioactive isotopes is gradually consumed. When the internal sources of the Earth’s heat are exhausted, the only remaining source of energy will be the Sun. The average surface temperature should be in the order of 255 K. I hate this sort of average, but that’s life.

        So, just like the kettle, the Earth’s eventual destiny is a frozen one.

        No global warming at all. I don’t think I’ve omitted any salient points, but if you disagree with me, would you mind sticking to what we’ve discussed so far. Warmists tend to descend into analogies of analogies, and fly off at a tangent rather rapidly. I generally dislike analogies, but you pointed out that by adding a heat source to the kettle, the kettle could represent the Earth. I added the Sun, but at that point it appeared that the real situation was just as easy to understand as the analogy.

        So what do think? I believe my logic and facts are fair, but I’ve rushed a bit. I would appreciate if you could provide direct quotes of my errors to me, when you correct me. Thanks in advance.


  40. An alternative of this posting is available at http://pages.swcp.com/~jmw-mcw/Problems_with_toeing_the_line.html

    My personal website has been up for several decades with the following header:
    Do you believe everything you are taught? You should NOT!

    But to operate in the academic, research and business worlds, you do need to know and practice the status quo! Failure to do so can be hazardous to your career and livelihood!

    Lay and scientists should always be skeptical of what they are fed, but toeing-the-line IS the major driving force for almost everyone working for a living. Situations like the heavily government-funded, “man-is-the-villain who is going to make our climate-hotter-than-hell, if-we-do-not-cut-CO2-generation” and “peer-reviewing in journals” are good examples of this.

    I retired 22 years ago, so I have not been so restrained. Thus, I have had quite a bit of freedom in taking non-doctrinal stances in whatever areas I have chosen to venture.

    I have made a number of postings on Climate, Etc. These have been to emphasize the need to look at “naturally occurring events” that have occurred during the “past” (100Ks of years before mankind MIGHT have made an impact) and to make sure that, at the very least, all of the major factors are understood with high degrees of certainty about the magnitude of their impacts and the natural timing of their occurrences, so this information is useful in predicting the future. This seems so trivial to me, as a scientist, before embarking on addressing any recent or near future (decade and century) impacts that mankind might have made or will be making.

    Rigorous modeling of the past, in my estimation, is needed to establish what IS “natural”.

    To take a stance that the past is irrelevant to the future is ludicrous, but not beyond some people decreeing that it does not matter! Unfortunately, the URGENCY to validate the “dire warming preconception and its attendant catastrophes” before Paris has not allowed the necessary effort to model all of the past 120K years of changes to a level that would allow validation of any impacts that mankind might have made over the past 200 years or will make in the next 100 years! Toeing-the-money-line has prevented much deviation from the “preconception goal”. Hopefully, after the dramatics of Paris are over, modelers will try to do what I have advocated above.

    Copies of some of my Climate, Etc posting/references will remain in the General Science Journal (http://gsjournal.net/Science-Journals-Papers/Author/952/Joel,%20Williams – should the reader be interested) after the fuss about CAGW wanes. It is interesting to note that TV’s HISTORY channel is beginning to pickup more and more on the likelihood that “mankind” “has” lived during the warmer parts of 120K periods before now, has had to go through relearning curves after the Earth has become less habitable (starting each time with primitive “tools”), and is destined to do so time and time again.

    For those who have boarder interests in fundamental physics and chemistry matters beyond those related to “climate”, my website (http://pages.swcp.com/~jmw-mcw/index.htm) is a skeptic’s read; as such, you can imagine why many of the concepts presented therein are not acceptable to mainstream journals. If you think challenging CAGW is difficult, try countering some basic physics or chemistry concept!

    I have now released my 2005 book, “Challenging Science”, free to all; the 18Mb pdf file of “Challenging Science” can be downloaded via my web site http://pages.swcp.com/~jmw-mcw/index.htm or directly via http://pages.swcp.com/~jmw-mcw/ChallengingScience_public_free_access.pdf

    My 2nd book (“Rethinking the Atom”) has only been in print since early 2015 and is available at http://www.amazon.com/Rethinking-Atom-Joel-M-Williams/dp/0692320709/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1448306087&sr=1-1&keywords=Rethinking+the+Atom+Williams

    As you might imagine, I believe that educated retirees are the real source of “free-thinking” to generate alternative explanations and size up situations, should they decide not to let their gray-matter go to waste, since they should no longer feel obligated to toe-the-line of the status quo.

  41. Another example of peer review – not always a guarantee of probity.

    “Atmospheric Research
    1 January 2016, Vol.167:314, doi:10.1016/j.atmosres.2015.07.001
    Retraction notice
    Retraction notice to “Large-eddy simulation of the hurricane boundary layer: Evaluation of the planetary boundary-layer parametrizations” [ATMOS 154C (2015) 73–88]
    O. Alizadeh-Choobari
    Show more
    This article has been retracted: Please see Elsevier Policy on Article Withdrawal (http://www.elsevier.com/locate/withdrawalpolicy).

    This article was retracted at the request of the Editor in Chief. Significant errors in the data were detected in the manuscript outlined as follows: (1) Physically flawed modeling setup, the LES run presented in the manuscript was forced by the sea surface temperature (SST) and set it to be constant throughout the simulation and (2) misleading results and inappropriate comparison. In this study, the LES domain only covers an area of roughly 22 × 22 km2, whereas the domain of mesoscale simulation covers an area of 800 × 800 km2.

    Furthermore this article presents a dispute among the original research group about authorship. We would like to apologize to readers for not detecting these problems during the review process.”

    At least journals sometimes admit the peer review system fails. They’re getting better. Note the apology.

    Well done, chaps.


  42. RE the APS Climate Change position statement I would like to draw attention to the fact that there was a significant change in the management structure in April which led to the resignation of the editor in chief Gene Sprouse. http://www.aps.org/publications/apsnews/updates/sprouse.cfm.
    Then the draft that had been based on a critical forensic analysis of AR5 became a mundane acceptance of the “consensus”. It would be instructive to know who instigated the restructure and was this a “coup” prompted by a reward in funding or by some other means?


    “Ederer reports not long ago retired geologist and data computation expert Professor Dr. Friedrich Karl Ewert began looking at the data behind the global warming claims, and especially the datasets of NASA’s Goddard Institute of Space Studies (GISS).

    Ewert painstakingly examined and tabulated the reams of archived data from 1153 stations that go back to 1881 – which NASA has publicly available – data that the UN IPCC uses to base its conclusion that man is heating the Earth’s atmosphere through the burning of fossil fuels. According to Ederer, what Professor Ewert found is “unbelievable”:

    From the publicly available data, Ewert made an unbelievable discovery: Between the years 2010 and 2012 the data measured since 1881 were altered so that they showed a significant warming, especially after 1950. […] A comparison of the data from 2010 with the data of 2012 shows that NASA-GISS had altered its own datasets so that especially after WWII a clear warming appears – although it never existed.”

    Ederer writes that Ewert particularly found alterations at stations in the Arctic. Professor Ewert randomly selected 120 stations from all over the world and compared the 2010 archived data to the 2012 data and found that they had been tampered to produce warming.

    The old data showed regular cycles of warming and cooling over the period, even as atmospheric CO2 concentration rose from 0.03% to 0.04%. According to the original NASA datasets, Ederer writes, the mean global temperature cooled from 13.8°C in 1881 to 12.9°C in 1895. Then it rose to 14.3°C by 1905 and fell back under 12.9°C by 1920, rose to 13.9°C by 1930, fell to 13° by 1975 before rising to 14°C by 2000. By 2010 the temperature fell back to 13.2°C.

    But then came the “massive” altering of data, which also altered the entire overall trend for the period. According to journalist Ederer, Ewert uncovered 10 different methods NASA used to alter the data. The 6 most often used methods were:

    • Reducing the annual mean in the early phase.
    • Reducing the high values in the first warming phase.
    • Increasing individual values during the second warming phase.
    • Suppression of the second cooling phase starting in 1995.
    • Shortening the early decades of the datasets.
    • With the long-term datasets, even the first century was shortened.

    The methods were employed for stations such as Darwin, Australia and Palma de Mallorca, for example, where cooling trends were suddenly transformed into warming.

    Ewert (pictured) then discovered that NASA having altered the datasets once in March 2012 was not enough. EWERT Alterations were made again in August 2012, and yet again in December 2012. For Palma de Majorca: “Now because of the new datasets it has gotten even warmer. Now they show a warming of +0.01202°C per year.”

    Using earlier NASA data, globe is in fact cooling”

    • How would you categorize the NASA activities?

      You aren’t “gasp” suggesting they are playing fast and loose with the data or even cheating as it were?

    • Apparently, he says, it has already cooled by more than a degree since 1940, and the cooling continues even faster after 2000, and nobody but him has noticed this before. Hmmm… Where do they get these people?

      • Jim D

        I’m still waiting for your personal explanation as to what mechanism explains the necessary energy supply that supports the surface temperature, together with your computations that indicate a mean surface temperature in the vicinity of 288K. You must take into account the T^4 relationship in any Stefan Boltzmann calculations that you use, and select a reasonable and realistic range of flux values. For example, you could approximate the variable flux by considering five zones receiving 20%, 60%, 100%, 140% and 180% of the mean flux, then calculate the temperature for each and the mean of those temperatures. At least that’s closer to reality than assuming homogeneous flux over the whole globe, day and night.

        If you can’t explain the mechanism, then you can’t explain the results of that mechanism if carbon dioxide levels are increased above current concentrations that are around 0.04%.

      • It’s easier than you think. The atmospheric effective emissivity is about 0.6, so for a top emitted radiation of 240 W/m2 to balance the net solar incoming radiation, you need 390 W/m2 which corresponds to 288 K at the surface. 240/390 is about 0.6. QED.

      • You still don’t get it do you Jim D: As I have shown, because of the T^4 in the Stefan-Boltzmann equation, the mean radiation would have to be about 460W/m^2 to support a mean temperature of 288K. Besides, the Sun doesn’t have enough time in the day – hence, although the top of Mt Everest receives about 1000W/m^2 at noon on a clear day around June 22, it does not get up to 90C.

        The Sun’s mean radiation of 168W/m^2 is like that of a nearby iceberg at 40 degrees below freezing. The mean radiation from the atmosphere of 324W/m^2 does not penetrate the ocean surface to any extent sufficient to have any influence on ocean temperatures, and it would not support a mean temperature above freezing point either. If its energy were converted to thermal energy then the first few nanometers would just boil and evaporate before they could warm anything. Even that doesn’t happen because every independent process in nature never causes entropy to decrease, so every one-way pencil of radiation cannot transfer thermal energy to a warmer target. No subsequent non-dependent radiation can excuse an initial decrease in entropy in a previous independent process. That’s correct physics, Jim D. No physics text tells you that you can add various radiative fluxes and use the total in Stefan Boltzmann calculations. You can’t. A thousand candles won’t boil a large pot of water.

        You don’t have sufficient understanding of entropy and thermodynamics, Jim D, as I can tell from my experience in helping undergraduates for about five decades now. That’s why you are gullible enough to believe that about 1% of water vapor raises the surface temperature by over 20 degrees, even though its radiation doesn’t enter the oceans. (LOL) You should deduce that rain forests are over 50 degrees hotter than dry regions at similar latitude and altitude. Water vapor cannot raise the surface temperature and, at the same time, reduce the temperature gradient because radiative balance with the Sun would be thrown way out. A planet’s surface is warmed by the process I have explained involving maximum entropy production.


      • itsnotco2, I am not sure I understand which aspect of known science you dispute, so let’s start with the energy budget and see which numbers you don’t like and why. Looks like you agree with the solar numbers, but are unsure of yourself when thinking about IR.

      • Energy budget charts, like the one of Trenberth are just estimates, for a particular period. They are not fixed and they are not necessarily accurate or precise or relevant to the present.

      • Jim D,

        Stupid diagram. The Sun doesn’t shine all the time, and averaging stuff is pointless and misleading.

        A 12 year old could do better.


      • MF, what do you say to TE who says it is a time average? I think it is a time average. Probably at least decadal which effectively gets rid of the solar 11-year cycle and ENSO variability.

      • Jim D,

        You haven’t quoted TE, so I haven’t the faintest idea what you are talking about. What part of what I said do you disagree with? Please quote me, then I’ve got some idea of what you are trying to say.

        Show me some experimental evidence of the ability of a body to raise its temperature when surrounded with CO2, if you can find any.

        Otherwise it’s all just assertive nonsense. The blathering of ignorant fools, one might say.


      • The first Trenberth ( & Kiehl ) was based on ERBE, which was

        The second ( and notice how it differs from the first ) was from CERES from 2000 through 2004.

        There is uncertainty with all of the components, and they change from year to year and decade to decade.

        Shortwave is still very problematic to measure, though we kid ourselves and pretend the numbers are precise and accurate.

      • I suspect itsnotco2 will disbelieve whole arrows in these graphs rather than quibble with a percent here and there, which is why I posted it. You can find many such diagrams with slightly different numbers with a Google search. This is just the first one I found.

      • MF, OK, I just thought you had trouble with understanding the diagram. All the numbers add up to balance the budget at the top, surface and in the atmosphere, so all these fluxes are closely tied together.

      • Jim D: The 333 shown in your diagram (or 324 in some other diagrams) as radiation supposedly delivering thermal energy (70% of it into the oceans which it doesn’t penetrate) and thus supposedly violating the Second Law of Thermodynamics in that one-way independent process (as you Jim D admit it is indeed independent) is not delivered by radiation at all, but by the process of maximization of entropy, which is indeed just what the Second Law says will happen and is a thermodynamic diffusion process, not radiation. It’s all explained in the 43 minute video linked here and I have no time to write out a transcript.

      • Like I said, I have no time for pseudoscience.

      • And, Jim D, when those electrons are raised through one or more quantum energy levels, the extra (temporary) energy that came from the photon is not converted to molecular kinetic energy (that is, thermal energy) and that is how nature ensures that the Second Law of Thermodynamics is indeed obeyed by every one-way independent pencil of radiation. Entropy does not decrease in such a process, despite the fact that the all-knowing Jim D states assertively that it does. Silent readers can read the paper on radiated energy linked from the ‘Evidence’ page here.

        Furthermore, Jim D, even your net 396W/m^2 into the surface would be far too insufficient to “explain” a mean surface temperature of 288K. I have shown why about 460W/m^2 would be needed in another comment.

      • As you should know, thermal electrons hitting the surface are not strong enough to raise electron energy states. All they can do is increase lattice vibrations in solids, aka kinetic energy and warming. Similarly for liquids, it not the electrons, it is the molecular motions that are changed, again kinetic energy, which is thermal energy.

      • Jim D and all others should read this profound statement:

        Because radiative flux is proportional to the fourth power of the temperature of a black body emitting it, the mean temperature attained by a widely varying flux (such as we have night and day, all over the globe) is considerably less than the temperature attained by a steady flux that is equal to the mean of that variable flux. That is a mathematical fact derived from the Planck function. That single fact demolishes the greenhouse garbage science that associates a mean of 390 or 396W/m^2 with a mean surface temperature of 288K.

      • It is correct to say that the effective radiative temperature of the surface is 288 K, and at the top it is 255 K. This difference of 33 degrees is the greenhouse effect.

      • Unsettled science prevails over pseudo-science. We are proud of you, yimmy.

      • You, Jim D, are not correct regarding what you say about the photons, because of the fact that the Planck function for the warmer target fully envelops that for the cooler source. That’s a mathematical fact. Hence all the photons from the cooler source have matching molecules or atoms in the target which have matching differences in quantum energy levels, because equivalent falls between energy states created the photons in the source. So the energy matches exactly, and is indeed precisely what is needed to raise electrons in the target through one or more quantum energy levels, and that is the whole point regarding resonance – the energy matches exactly because a part of the Planck distribution for the warmer target matches a part of that for the cooler source. You have a lot of physicists who know about this 21st century understanding regarding radiation to convince otherwise.

        You will also be hard pressed, Jim D, in convincing any physicist that the Second Law could be violated by a conversion of electro-magnetic energy back into kinetic energy, thus raising the temperature of the warmer target with a reduction in entropy in an independent process. I don’t buy the unique climatology “fissics” that claims subsequent independent processes (which could include evaporation) can excuse a reduction in entropy in the first process.

        All that all the radiation between the warmer surface and the cooler atmosphere does is transfer thermal energy one way – out of the surface. Engineers know full well that quantitatively the energy transfer is based on the area between the respective Planck functions, and that is calculated by the difference in the integrals, the integrals being in S-B. That area represents the frequency-intensity combinations which don’t resonate and that’s where and why the energy does get converted to thermal energy – just the extra energy between the Planck functions.

        You are ALSO completely wrong Jim D, in assuming that the absorptivity of the surface (which is not a black or grey body) matches the emissivity. There is no law in physics which says that about bodies which also gain and lose thermal energy by processes other than radiation. You confuse blackbody theory with the real world.

        And still you have not explained Jim D how the surface of the ocean actually receives the required thermal energy in order for its temperature to rise to observed values, as it certainly does from winter to summer.

        None of the back radiation penetrates the ocean surface sufficiently to have any significant effect. The temperature depends on input of thermal energy. The output is just a result of the temperature attained. The output does NOT tell us that the input BY RADIATION was the same as the output by radiation. What actually happens is that the surface receives a lot of input by non-radiative processes due to the maximization of entropy during sunlit hours, whether or not the solar radiation gets through clouds and actually strikes the surface. The surface temperature will still warm on a calm but very cloudy morning. The process is explained at https://itsnotco2.wordpress.com

        So Jim D and other believers in the CO2 hoax, you are not able to explain the necessary INPUT of thermal energy into the surfaces of the oceans because all that back radiation which you have been misled into thinking can violate the Second Law and transfer thermal energy from cold to hot – all that back radiation (about twice the solar radiation) does not even penetrate more than a few nanometers into the oceans, and you have all been gullible enough to believe it helps the Sun to warm the oceans from winter to summer, or on any day for that matter.

        You also believe the hoax that water vapor can simultaneously raise the surface temperature whilst reducing the temperature gradient. If it did both then the area under the thermal profile of the troposphere would increase enormously thus throwing radiative balance with the Sun way out. Furthermore, rain forests with 4% water vapor should be over 50 degrees hotter than drier regions with 1% if the IPCC hoax were right about GH gases (mostly water vapor) doing 33 degrees of warming. They don’t: empirical evidence for water vapor shows that it cools.

        And still not a single person in the world has even tried to fault my “heat creep” hypothesis after reading it, understanding it and noting that it is supported by copious evidence and experiments as well.

      • Thermal photons only come from vibrational/rotational states of IR-active gas molecules, not electron transitions. They only have enough energy to end up in surface molecular motions, again not enough for electron transitions.

      • And so, Jim D your laconic responses leave you in deep, deep water, tied in knots.

        If the mean temperature of the Earth’s surface is 288K (which I’ll accept, although I think it is 285 to 286K) then, because the temperature varies (as we all know) and the intensity of radiation increases with the fourth power of the temperature, we can show mathematically that the mean radiation coming out of the surface is quite a bit more than 400W/m^2 and, using the rough calculations I provided in another comment) could well be of the order of 460W/m^2. It is certainly not less than 430W/m^2.

        Hence you have even more to explain regarding where the required energy comes from to raise the temperature of the ocean surface when the only radiation that penetrates the ocean surface is solar radiation with a mean of about 168W/m^2 when it reaches the surface. That is like a nearby iceberg 40 degrees below freezing point.

        The only possible explanation is what I have explained and derived directly from the Second Law of Thermodynamics here and the $10,000 reward has not even been claimed with the appropriate attempted refutation of the “heat creep” hypothesis and a study supposedly showing water vapor warming.

      • Your problem is only because you ignore the thermal IR photons emitted by the atmosphere and absorbed by the surface, as I already explained, which is several hundred W/m2 and can’t be neglected in comparison to the solar radiation, actually being more than it in a global average.

      • Jim D,

        You wrote –

        “Thermal photons only come from vibrational/rotational states of IR-active gas molecules, not electron transitions. They only have enough energy to end up in surface molecular motions, again not enough for electron transitions.”

        I don’t believe you have any real understanding, but are trying to sound

        You might care to provide a definition of a “thermal photon” for starters. One can only hazard a guess as to what you are trying to say. Are you trying to distinguish between different wavelengths or are you implying (incorrectly) that some photons are inherently different from others independent of energy levels? Do you imagine they travel at different speeds, or somesuch?

        Maybe if you specified the “energy” you are talking about, in specific units of measurement, your comment might be clearer.


      • Thermal photons, surprisingly perhaps, have thermal IR wavelengths.

      • Your quip about photons is irrelevant to the issue of the Second Law being violated. That will not happen on a macro scale. Nor will the back radiation penetrate the ocean surface sufficiently to warm it anyway, even if it could.

        This video has a comment referring to scattering and “no interaction” and you should also note the reference to atoms rather than molecules – so where are your vibrational or rotational degrees of freedom?

        “Photons are discrete units of energy – they do not share energy with atoms – they either are annihilated by an atom through complete absorption or they have no interaction with the atom (other than scattering which we are not discussing here).”

        Scattering still occurs even for the very few photons that are emitted via rotational and vibrational processes. Resonance can also occur in a similar way. Such processes are thought to explain the very limited radiation from a few oxygen and nitrogen molecules. When you consider that nearly half of the spectrum of solar radiation is in the IR range, what you say is not the norm.

        The process of internal conversion between electron energy in an atom and kinetic energy (in any degree of freedom) in a molecule containing that atom is quite complex. It is far easier for the receiving atom to merely re-emit an equivalent photon (seeing that it is already in an elevated energy state) rather than “go looking” for kinetic energy that has to be converted to electron energy and thence a photon.

        This site says ..

        “Photons are emitted when an electron in some atom moves from a higher energy state to a lower energy state. The photon has a wavelength which is exactly equal to the energy difference between the two states. The energy of a photon is equal to Planck’s constant ( h) times its frequency (f)”

        Now, get back to the many other points to which you have not responded, Jim D, because you still can’t explain how the oceans get the required energy from radiation, and the reason is because they don’t get most of the required energy that way, as I have been first in the world to explain. Struggle on, but don’t crib the answers by reading my stuff.

      • I am not wasting more time on this. Thermal wavelength photons are emitted by the greenhouse gases (and clouds) and absorbed by the surface, and in no small amount, being hundreds of W/m2 all the time. Denial of this is denial of basic physics. It comes down to this one point of fact to unwind your whole theory.

      • Whether or not you “waste more time” on trying to answer my questions, Jim D, that plain fact is that you obviously can’t, because, when a planet has a significant atmosphere, the surface temperature is NOT supported primarily with direct solar radiation or back radiation, but rather (mostly) with non-radiative heat transfers, as is very obvious when the surface of Venus rises about 5 degrees from 732K to 737K over the course of four months on the sunlit side. No solar radiation at all reaches down to the base of the 350Km high nominal troposphere of Uranus, yet thermal energy does get down there from the cold (60K) methane layers, making it over 300K – hotter than Earth. That thermal energy is transferred ONLY as a result of the process of maximum entropy production as the Second Law of Thermodynamics tells us will tend to happen.

        Correct physics must be verifiable, Jim D. The conjecture that the GH gas water vapor warms the surface with its radiation from the cold atmosphere, supposedly raising the surface temperature by about 20 degrees for each 1%, supposedly making rain forests 50 degrees hotter than deserts and supposedly simultaneously reducing the magnitude of the temperature gradient (thus throwing radiative balance with the Sun way out) – the greenhouse conjecture is not verifiable, whereas the “heat creep” hypothesis is not only verifiable, but is also totally in accord with the laws of physics.

        Jim D never did explain, let alone quantify, how that GH fictitious, fiddled physics can explain the required input of thermal energy into the oceans (estimated at around 460W/m^2 plus the non-radiative losses of over 100W/m^2) when no back radiation enters the ocean and solar radiation has a mean of only about 168W/m^2. He can’t explain it because there is no physics that could explain it with radiation of any type, whether or not the back radiation is incorrectly added, as it obviously cannot be added because it doesn’t even penetrate the oceans.

        It’s all here for anyone who’s interested in learning about and discussing the new 21st Century paradigm shift in climate change science.


      • Obvious the correct physics is verifiable, and you can measure the downward IR with a radiometer.

      • Of course, Jim D, you can measure downward radiation from the atmosphere, but you can’t measure an increase in temperature of anything (like the sensor in an IR-thermometer) that is already warmer than the source of that radiation. The sensor’s rate of cooling is measured, not any rate of warming.

        And when you try to measure any radiation from the atmosphere penetrating to a depth of a few nanometers below the surface of water you can’t measure anything. That’s all been verified, Jim D.

        All you can measure just under the surface of the water, Jim D, is incident solar radiation which has a mean of about 168W/m^2 at the surface. You would be able to measure similar radiation from an iceberg that is about 40 degrees below zero C. It is my hypothesis that is verifiable and the GH conjecture which can be verified to be false.

        Thank you for putting your foot in it again (for the good laugh of silent readers) you being the epitome of one with his gullible head naively buried in the carbon dioxide hoax – all because you don’t read and try to understand what I have explained really happens, and is indeed verifiable by physics, empirical evidence and experiments with centrifugal force.

      • You can measure hundreds of W/m2 of IR from the sky, and it adds to the solar W/m2. There is no difference between IR W/m2 and solar W/m2. Both are energy flows and both can be absorbed efficiently by the ground.

      • Utter garbage, Jim D.

        In any event, back radiation does NOT penetrate water, so how could it violate the Second Law by transferring heat from the colder air to the warmer water? Obviously entropy would decrease in such a process.

        Read my peer-reviewed paper “Radiated Energy and the Second Law of Thermodynamics” as I am a world expert in this specialized field of study, and also in atmospheric physics. Go and surround a pot of water with a few hundred ice cubes and get back to me when it boils.

        It seems you want to throw out standard physics ….

        “The law that entropy always increases holds, I think, the supreme position among the laws of Nature. If someone points out to you that your pet theory of the universe is in disagreement with Maxwell’s equations — then so much the worse for Maxwell’s equations. If it is found to be contradicted by observation — well, these experimentalists do bungle things sometimes. But if your theory is found to be against the second law of thermodynamics I can give you no hope; there is nothing for it but to collapse in deepest humiliation.”

        — Sir Arthur Stanley Eddington, The Nature of the Physical World (1927)

      • Jim D could stick a steak thermometer into the ground and suspend an identical one horizontally above the ground. The one above the ground receives the same downwelling radiation, but, in addition, receives hundreds of W/m^2 of upwelling radiation from the ground. So the second one will read a much higher temperature, won’t in Jim D? /sarc

      • itsnotco2, as you may or may not know, the 2nd law comes out of statistical mechanics, which is the mechanics of large numbers or particles. It does not apply to individual particles, and a photon can be emitted by A and absorbed by B regardless of their temperatures, because temperature is also a bulk property of large numbers of particles, not individual ones. You insist on using statistical mechanics ideas in describing single photons and molecules, and it is just a wrong application. Use quantum mechanics, not statistical mechanics. These are different.

  44. After reading the New Yorker article on general relativity, I can understand what the idea does. But I don’t know why, for example, speed makes time go slower. Can anybody help me?

    And please don’t tell me to read Stephen Hawking’s book. That doesn’t help either.

    • scraft1,

      I could tell you, but then I’d have to kill you! Only joking!

      Speed also makes things shorter, as follows –

      “There was a young fencer named Fisk,
      With action exceedingly brisk,
      So rapid his action,
      Fitzgerald contraction,
      Reduced his rapier to a disk.”

      At the speed of light, it would take less “time” to proceed from one end to the other of an object compressed by the Fitzgerald contraction (more properly called something else, but wouldn’t fit the limerick nearly as well).

      What might help is looking up Lorentz-Fitzgerald Contraction, and follow that up with a quick squiz at Time Dilation. Or the other way round. Sometimes you get to the same point by taking a different path.

      I’ll warn you that contemplating such counter intuitive stuff can lead to your head hurting, or an attack of Koan belly!

      Good luck!


    • The phenomenon has been observed with watches in earth orbit. While the rapier becoming a disk might make for limericks, if all parts moved at the same speed, then the rapier would remain the same. In a similar way, if you could move at the speed of light away from the earth with your watch on and came back to earth in an earth year, the earth and all of your friends would be a year older, but you and your watch would have everything still in the same location as when you left. You would have traveled into the future relative to them as all of the parts of your body and your watch would still be as they were when you left: all constant “relative” to one another, but not relative to earth and friends.