The Climate of XMAS

by Judith Curry

My very best wishes to all of you for the holiday season.

XMAS cartoons 



'Reindeer must now be fitted with the government approved CZ1 catalytic converter to reduce methane emissions.'

‘Reindeer must now be fitted with the government approved CZ1 catalytic converter to reduce methane emissions.’





Spotted at WUWT:


You can purchase Josh’s annual calendar of climate cartoons [here]


A political XMAS

Republican Presidential Candidate Ted Cruz has prepared a very clever XMAS message:


The Fright Before Christmas, by Davis Swan

T’was the night before Christmas and all through the town
The temperature was dropping, going down, down, down, down
The weatherman said that a front was to blame
A high pressure ridge from Alaska he claimed

It sat like a lump on the hard prairie stubble
Refusing to budge, clearly looking for trouble
On the map it was grinning, toothy and blue
From Montana through Texas to the Long Island zoo

And under that dome of slow falling air
Grew a problem so nasty it hardly seemed fair
For the flags hung like rags across the mid-west
Not a whisper of wind to wake them from rest

Outside of the town the turbines stopped spinning
On the weatherman’s map the cold front kept grinning
At the company office the manager frowned
As the power from the wind farms kept going down

A coal-fired plant was called and called fast
They’d always been there in a pinch in the past

We can’t help you out” was the somber reply
Our boilers have been cold since the 4th of July
It will take us all night with a talented crew
To get things in order and working like new

The manager hung up the phone with a sigh
He had one last option he knew he could try

He called up the plant that was fired by gas
“Can you give us more power?” the foreman was asked
“I would if I could but the answer is ‘No’
We’re going full out – any more and she’ll blow!”

So he hung up again – no more numbers to call
All attention was fixed on the instrument wall
The manager watched as the meter hit zero
He knew the next day he would not be a hero

The grid creaked and groaned then it finally buckled
It seemed like the weather map grin actually chuckled

And now it spread out like a fast moving fire
The blackout was coming the outlook was dire
In no time at all the breakers were flipping
The wires were sparking, transformers were tripping

One after one the streetlights went out
In the blink of an eye there was clearly no doubt
That this was a night that we all would remember
As the coldest darn night in the darkest December

Now some folks stayed warm by a hearth that was crackling
But for most bitter cold finally made them start packing
And in thousands of homes linemen pulled on their boots
As they headed outdoors trying to turn on the juice

And back to the coal-fired plants went the men
That had kept the lights on since I don’t know just when
They worked through the night and by noon Christmas Day
The dinners were cooking in the usual way

A few short days later the cold front receded
The wind farms spun up, coal no longer was needed

The utility manager decided to go
To visit a plant, maybe stop, say hello
They shared some bad coffee as they sat for a while
Then a grizzled old coal-man spoke up with a smile

“Now I’m a recycler and I love to hug trees
But wind without storage is just a big tease
Here is one thing that I know for a fact
You didn’t quite get it when you called for the MACT”

“My dirty old cold-fired plant had to close
But when it comes down to it everyone knows
My coal-fired plant you can count on to run
No matter what happens with the wind and the sun”

“If you really want power through all kinds of weather
Treat coal with respect – we can work well together”

The manager left but what stuck in his head
Were the words that the grizzled old coal-man had said
Energy storage is something we need
Without it “green power” is useless indeed

We can launch a sleek rocket, land a robot on Mars
We can build hybrid engines to power our cars
A storage solution can surely be found
If we dare to think different, turn our thoughts upside-down

Taleb and Khosla have shown us the way
It’s “Black Swan” ideas that are needed today.


155 responses to “The Climate of XMAS

  1. Bests wishes to all for the holidays and the New Year! May 2016 bring an end to seventy years of deceit about the source of energy that powers the universe and sustains our lives:

  2. Pingback: The Climate of XMAS | Enjeux énergies et environnement

  3. Steve McIntyre

    Christmas in Toronto two years ago was definitely Fright Before Christmas. It was bitterly cold (opposite to this year). Power went out throughout southern Ontario about 5 days before Christmas and remained out for 4-5 days. The problem was that ice froze on trees throughout southern Ontario, which then fell and took out the power lines. Power could not be restored by flicking a switch but only by clearing trees, neighborhood by neighborhood. Heat was out as well: the main fuel is natural gas, but electricity is needed for operation of the furnaces. Some people tried to take the edge off the cold with fireplaces, but firewood in the city was gone almost instantly. We hadn’t used our fireplace for about 8 years and tried to burn some firewood. I got a nice fire going, but the chimney backed up and smoke filled up the house. We had to open the doors to zero-Fahrenheit air to relieve the smoke.

    On Christmas Eve, the power came back on in our neighborhood for most of us. One neighbor’s power stayed off for about two weeks though. She had radiators, which burst, causing about $60,000 damage to her house.

    • This is an argument for local solar – when the grid is down from weather, or possible hacking

      • Solar? If the sun does shine and there is a inverter. I suspect that heavy-duty auxiliary power generators with a reserve of gasoline are the name of the game when you live where these sort of conditions can occur. This would allow the furnace to operate and, in lieu of gas heat, would allow some small electric heaters to to keep things warm. Folks in hurricane area are well of the need to keep a portable generator on hand to keep the frig working when electricity is often slow in being restored. Now hacking is an interesting problem. Don’t give anybody ideas. Probably safe on this blog, I would hope.

      • Solar would be a very expensive form of backup for grid power, especially in this case, where there was a lot of ice. In addition to the storage requirements, apartment buildings do not have the necessary collector area. Small generators are far cheaper, which is why they are used in critical facilities.

        A wonderful warm December day to all.

      • Willis Eschenbach

        curryja | December 24, 2015 at 11:31 am

        This is an argument for local solar – when the grid is down from weather, or possible hacking

        Ask a lineman if that sounds like a good idea, to have a bunch of generators attached to the power lines that you are trying to fix …

        Plus, of course, your suggestion does not account for the fact that the local solar AC sources are all synchronized by syncing them to the grid … so without a grid, how would you sync up the houses with local solar?

        In fact, in California at least solar systems are REQUIRED to automatically stop feeding the grid when the grid goes down, both for the safety of the linemen and because the individual generating systems cannot be synchronized.

        Finally, the solar energy is anti-synchronized with the need-when you have a big winter nstorm and the power goes out, the solar input is likely to be very low.

        Setting all of that completely aside, however, let me offer you my best Xmas wishes along with my profound thanks for both your blog, and for your position and actions in the climate wars. You have a unique voice in this discussion, and you have used it responsibly and scientifically, to all of our benefit.


      • Maybe Judith was tongue-in-cheek!
        Also, depends on how you are using your auxiliary unit. I doubt that small generators are “back-feeding”.

      • Willis Eschenbach

        Joel Williams | December 24, 2015 at 2:40 pm |

        Maybe Judith was tongue-in-cheek!
        Also, depends on how you are using your auxiliary unit. I doubt that small generators are “back-feeding”.

        You doubt incorrectly. Small generators can indeed feed back into the grid, and are a real and ever-present danger to linemen. If you look at the instructions for any small generator you’ll find information like this, from a small 2 Kw Honda generator manual (2000i):

        Do not connect to a building electrical system unless an isolation switch has been installed by a qualified electrician.

        The “isolation switch” mentioned in the safety warning is specifically to prevent back-feeding into the grid, and to be clear, 2Kw is enough to kill a lineman dead.

        And yes, Judith might have been tongue in cheek … but I doubt it, and she’s free to bust me if so.


      • I was thinking of “complete” disconnected operation of a generator as I would use them. Yes, connecting to the house circuit would give “feedback”. I would assume that if a user were to use the generator that way, it would/should be properly installed. In essence, the generator would be feeding the grid when on and presumably would be used like all systems that are being used to lower one’s bill. To be used that way, the grid operators would insist on having the system properly installed for such emergencies.

      • It is also an argument for putting electrical lines underground and for keeping trees trimmed around power lines. Trees covered with ice falling and causing outages is due to incompetent utility companies.

        An their linemen should know to wear their stinking gloves or they are soon dead linemen.

        Merry Christmas all, been out in my t-shirt today, no need for a coat.

      • Not a lineman, just a sometimes dairy farmer. Willis is (pun intended) dead right. Our operations are quite remote (like no cell service at the house). We lose power regularly, dozens of times per year. Ice storms, lightning strikes, whatevers. We have to milk about 150 cows twice a day in our brand new milking parlor (which cuts each milking time from 3 hours to about an hour and a half–high tech). The diesel backup generator for that parlor and the milk cooler tank is NOT a measly 2 kw. Grid fails, generator kicks on in about 30 seconds (delay explained below for grid reboot). We run grid isolated (asynchronous) until power is restored. Then the system cuts over to grid (using fancy tricks like automatically turning everything off when the power comes back on, and letting the miking machines spool down first so the electric motors don’t get damaged) and then the generator shuts down.
        Grid connected random stuff is dangerous to you, stuff, and the grid.

      • willis,

        You wrote –

        “. . . and to be clear, 2Kw is enough to kill a lineman dead.”

        As opposed to, say, killing him nearly dead?

        Only joking.

        Cheers – and Merry Christmas.

      • A grid-tied solar inverter requires utility power to be on or the solar to be disconnected, so no, this won’t help you much in the event of an outage.

        What you would need is a natural gas generator with a transfer switch in your panelboard. Utility outage? No problem.

      • Rud – have you seen the “on demand” milking machines? The cow decides when it’s time and walks up on the machine. Pretty cool.

      • Nope. Our cows still are under our sort of command. God forbid it ever be otherwise. They are big and stupid, and if onery, then also dangerous.

        Dehorning calves is just one of our safety precautions. Of which PETA would not approve. We rip their horn roots out with a special tool. Then we castrate the bulls into steers. They are all bawling. Cannot blame them. Life on a real farm is a bit different.

        And we still get kicked silly sometimes. My main milker tenant had to have reconstructive hand surgery last year. Cow kicked him good, broke multiple hand bones. Despite the pain, he finished milking first. And that was in our new high tech milking parlor. You city folks have no idea…

      • bedeverethewise

        Might be an argument for combined heat and power, but not solar. Solar has a few niche applications north of the Mason Dixon line.

      • It is clear that Willis is the only commentor who understands how an electrical distribution system works or may be familiar with linemen.

      • Bob,

        Ignoring the cost difference, undergrounding distribution circuits will improve outage reliability, but are much more difficult to repair when they do fail.

        As for “incompetent” utilities, they are most likely only in your imagination. We spend millions of dollars on vegetation management. The biggest obstacle to keeping our distribution lines clear are our customers and local jurisdictions. They make it difficult to trim trees.

        Hope you know more about climate science than you do about utility work.

      • Timg56,
        As usual, you are the one who thinks the utility they work for is the norm, I worked for a utility company that cut the tree trimming budget in order to save money and wound up on the wrong end of the bet.

        And they have the right of way to trim trees within a certain distance of their power lines, the fact is they don’t do it as often as they should. That is what I mean by incompetence.

        I may know something about lineman, or not, but I have been issued lineman’s gloves, though for interior work. Formerly of IBEW.

    • David Springer

      If you have natural gas then light up some burners on the kitchen stove. Don’t need electricity for that.

      • Hard to heat a house with stove top gas burners. Then too there is the smell of burning cat fur, when they snuggle up to a burner, which happily does not burn the cats. Been there, done that.

      • David Springer,

        Here in the Land Downunder, (where beer flows, and men chunder), some people have difficulty paying ever rising power bills.

        Unfortunately, using heat beads or charcoal in a small barbecue or hibachi indoors, after sealing a small room to keep as warm as possible, often results in death – presumably due to carbon monoxide production.

        Occasionally, a whole family perishes. I wonder if these deaths could be ascribed indirectly to Warmism? Higher electricity costs due to a bizarre insistence on non cost effective renewables?

        It looks likes there are at least some benefits to living in the tropics.


      • Been there, done that. Tends to make the house high humidity. Gas = water when burned.

  4. Merry Christmas, Prof Curry, to you and the denizens! I wish you all a Happy New Year as well.

  5. Feliz Navidad, Senora Curry from Nu Medico where the coal-fired plants in the 4-corners of the SW US are keeping us warm from the -4C outside where snow is on the ground, the wind is barely moving at 5km/h, and the sky is completely overcast! Happy Holidays to all of different faiths or who have none at all. We have much to be THANKFUL for! And those plants are one of them!

    Looking forward to FRIENDLY banter into the New Yea.

  6. From the article:

    Drudge is touting the “record heat” forecast for Christmas Eve, even though most of the country will be below normal temperature. The best Drudge could come up with was 86 degrees at Orlando.

    Christmas Eve 1955 was much warmer. Three fourths of the country was over 60 degrees, and Ashland Kansas, Geary Oklahoma and Encinal Texas were all over 90 degrees. Fort Lauderdale was 85 degrees. All of the stations below were over 60 degrees on Christmas Eve, 1955.

  7. Merry Christmas All!!

  8. richardswarthout

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. It’s been a pleasure to be in the company of so many really smart people!

    Richard Swarthout

  9. Superb column in today’s WSJ by Daniel Henninger called “The Year Christmas Died.” Who killed it? The loony secular warriors whose holy crusade to wipe out every last trace of public religious expression is rapidly overtaking the land. It’s a Caliphate of a different kind, but of course they don’t see that….

    (aka pokerguy)

    • WAR ON CHRISTMAS!!!!11!!!!1

      Grab the women and children and head for the hills!!!! The secular humanists are creating a “Caliphate!”

      Someone actually wished me a “happy holiday” today. OH, THE HUMANITY!!!!!!!!1!!

      • Christ is being sucked out of Christmas because he (or organised Christianity) is of little relevance to many peoples lives, the loony secular warriors are little more than a sideshow riding a wave of religious apathy and intolerance.

      • Gentlemanly behavior all the time to all people.

        What our parish priest advised during Mass last Sunday. I must assume that includes you Josh. So Merry Christmas.

    • If anything has spoiled Christmas for some people I think it is the consumerism angle and focus on buying “stuff” for other people rather than a time of year that should be about family and friends coming together

      • Hey, no reason you can’t have both!! :)

      • I am not trying to be the Grinch, but the focus should be on who are you giving to not the gift. And our culture is so focused on the “getting the gifts” part.

      • I agree Joseph. Now, where’ s my present?


      • Joseph that is a very insightful comment. I was not raised in a religious family and Christmas has always been about tradition and family and the warmth it fosters within our culture and not just on that one day. As a once aspiring social scientist I appreciate the value of Christmas and its spirit in the sustainability of our civilization. On the other hand there are the predictable Grinches such as demonstrated by the article in Huff Po laying a big guilt trip for using electricity for Christmas lights. The usual suspects always looking to subtract rather than add to the richness of a society.

        Have a very Merry Christmas to you, Joseph, and to everyone else regardless of their beliefs and faith.

      • Well, I would be willing to turn off the Christmas lights if we could find a way to divert that electricity to HuffPo in some creative sort of way …

      • Merry Christmas to all !

        For Tonyb :-)

      • Ossqs

        Thanks so much for the gift card. What a great idea!

        Fake and free gift cards could be produced for all sorts of organisations and products:

        * This gift card permits the owner to be a member of the rock group ‘muse” for a week

        * You are the new director of the Met office for a day

        * Obama needs a stand in for 12 hours. To maintain recent tradition you will not be required to make any decisions


  10. Curious George

    Forget modern commercial Santa. Christmas is all about El Niño.

  11. Merry Christmas back atcha, Judith…and to the denizens of ClimateEtc.

  12. Still! snow for Christmas! Merry Christmas to JC and the Denizens. Sounds like a good name for a Band.

  13. Speaking of walruses, the walrus looks to be the new polar bear in Green mythology. NOAA has published an Arctic Report Card. It is as fine a case of cherry picking scary data as you will find. Apparently one of the walrus populations has declined, but all animal populations oscillate naturally. Here is the green press take on it:

    Here is the report website:

    Lots of selected junk. A cartoon in its own right.

    • walrus post coming on friday, by Jim Steele

    • Many scientists have a somewhat irrational aversion to chaos. However, chaos rears its chaotic head here, there, and everywhere. The logistic equation can model animal populations rather well, so it should be beloved of Warmists.

      However, it also demonstrates a very simple equation which has unpredictable outcomes ranging from steady state, to regular oscillations, to chaos. The final state cannot be predicted from knowledge of the initial value, working from first principles.

      Maybe NOAA scientists just refuse to accept reality. If walrus populations behave chaotically, as do others, then ascribing a population increase or decline to anything other than chaos, without an extraordinary standard of proof is more fanaticism than science. Nature has ways of making fools of us all, given the right circumstances.

      Of course, given that more than 99% of all species which ever existed before the advent of Man, are now extinct, then this population may be joining the long list of the no longer with us. Who knows?

      It seems climatologists have access to arcane knowledge kept secret from real scientists, such as biologists. Pity they don’t share it.


      • Ironically, Lord Robert May was a pioneer in applying chaos theory to biological population dynamics, but a leading alarmist when President of the Royal Society.

  14. One of my first articles dealt with the climate of Christmas through the prism of the life of Charles dickens

    It is from him that we get the notion of Christmases that were chillingly cold. Oddly enough he published ‘ A Christmas carol’ during one of the warmest Christmases on record.

    Happy Christmas everyone


  15. Here in the Midwest US we have spent zero dollars on road salt, zero dollars plowing snow and very few dollars heating our homes and businesses. Economically and climatologically we are having a very merry Christmas.

  16. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all that appreciate the open and honest exchange of ideas at Climate, etc. If I was President Obama’s Climate Czar, leading an appropriate agency of our government charged with the responsibility of assessing the threat of un-restricted use of fossil fuels and setting priorities for federal funding of climate research, these would be my Top Ten priorities for 2016:
    1. Determine an official US Government approved value for Transient Climate Sensitivity (TCS) to be used in public policy decision-making. TCS has a similar value and meaning as TCR but is defined on the basis of the actual, variable slow rise of CO2 in our atmosphere, as opposed to a hypothetical 1%/yr rise value that can’t be verified with actual physical data.
    2. Establish a conservative estimate of currently known world-wide reserves of coal, oil and natural gas using US Government approved methods for calculating proven and probable reserves. Establish a reasonable projection, based on historical data, for how proven reserves of these fossil fuels are expected to change with time, world-wide economic activity, fuel prices, etc.
    3. Establish an official projection of CO2, other GHG and aerosol concentration rise in the atmosphere from present to 2100 based on natural phenomena and projections of the rate at which these reserves will be produced and burned vs. time. Give appropriate consideration to such fossil fuel consumption projections in scientific publications, as well as projections from major energy companies with actual “skin in the game” and who make their long-term business decisions on the basis of their projections.
    4. Establish an official projection of global mean surface temperature vs. time from present to 2100 based on the official value of TCS and the official projection of changes for all atmospheric GHG and aerosol concentrations.
    5. Define and prioritize potential climate problems in specific terms of harmful deviations from normal limits in the specifics of What? Where? When? and How Much? Try to establish and prove true root cause(s) of these problems.
    6. Develop and evaluate with pros and cons addressing Cost, Effectiveness and Schedule Requirements for 3 – 5 potential mitigation approaches for each specific potential climate problem identified.
    7. Recommend a current public policy decision regarding fossil fuel usage based the specific problems identified and recommended mitigation option.
    8. Plan to make annual updates to the above priority issues to determine if any changes to previous public policy decisions are warranted.
    9. Increase funding priority for research on extent and causes of natural climate change.
    10. Fund research to improve accuracy and validate climate models of various complexities, including simple conservation of surface power (rate of energy transfer to/from surface) models using observational data, but fund no “studies” with un-validated models, as we can have no confidence in their conclusions.

    • Harold Dorion – that’s an OK list, but maybe I can improve it for you a bit, starting at #10:
      10. Fund genuine climate research and the development of top-down climate models.
      9 – 5. As is.
      4 – 1. [Delete]. (#2 is valuable, but AFAIK globally we are already doing it pretty well – IEA etc.).

      HCTA (Happy Christmas to all)

      And thanks yet again, Judith, for your excellent work and for a truly great blog.

      • Oops, Harold I got your name wrong. Apologies.

      • Mike,
        I appreciate you considering and making suggestions for improvement of my top 10 priorities. I’m not sure what you mean by development of top down climate models. I am not ready to delete my #4 through #1 as you recommend, for the following reasons:

        #1. I am not aware of any official US Gov’t position on TCR or TCS. The Inter-governmental Working Group (IWG) created a speculative statistical distribution for ECS in their Monte Carlo process they developed to determine the expected value for the Social Cost of Carbon (SCC) that allows ECS values as high as 10C and produces 20 percent of the sampled ECS values larger than the 4.5C upper limit of the IPCC AR5 report uncertainty range of 1.5 < ECS < 4.5C This allows EPA to speculatively arrive at any SSC value it wants to justify to Congress the economic benefit of its proposed CO2 emissions regulations.

        The "official" CO2 climate sensitivity metric and value for public policy decisions needs the kind of broad and in-depth scientific review a Climate Czar seeking the truth for good public policy decisions on important matters would be expected to conduct. I'm thinking along the lines of numerous independent reviews from teams of carefully selected independent reviewers, without conflicts of interest, that NASA regularly conducted on the manned space program decisions I was involved with, where scientific truth was critical for decisions involving astronaut safety.

        #2., #3. The current IPCC RCP8.5 scenario as the only "business as usual" scenario for a policy decision based on un-restricted use of fossil fuels is ridiculous and cannot be expected to yield good public policy decisions. RCP8.5 cannot be justified on the basis of what I proposed in #2. and #3. My work on #2 and #3 using official US government EIA data suggests something closer to an RCP6.0 scenario is realistic.

        #4. Depends on results of #1 through #3.

      • Based on the last 60 years, you can make an observation-based TCS of 2.4 C per doubling, represented by the matching gradients on this graph (100 ppm per deg C). This would be a useful first guess for policy. No models, just observations.

      • Jim D: “Based on the last 60 years, you can make an observation-based TCS of 2.4 C per doubling”

        Only if you make a whole pile of utterly unjustified assumptions, the most egregious of which is that 100% of the increase in temperature is due to CO2.

        So more od your scientifically illiterate drivel, basically.

      • Jim D,

        I also insist on an observational approach for determining CO2 climate sensitivity because estimates from un-validated climate simulation models don’t satisfy my interpretation of a valid scientific approach consistent with the Scientific Method. However, for best accuracy, I prefer observations over the longest time span possible with reasonably reliable data, and consideration of AGW Theory that hypothesizes (with good justification from Quantum Physics considerations) that temperature is a logarithmic function of atmospheric CO2 concentration. Also when one takes into account that:

        (1) Some of the observed behavior in the temperature record is due to natural variations, with obvious approximately 62-year period natural cycles in the Global Mean Surface Temperature (GMST) anomaly data sets, and possibly longer term natural cycles of approximately 1000 years exhibited by the Roman Warm Period (RWP), Medieval Warm Period (MWP) and Little Ice Age (LIA), and

        (2) net effects of changing atm. levels of other GHG and aerosols,

        the primary anthropogenic effects on global mean surface temperature GMST changes and all feedbacks can be derived from Conservation of Energy (Power) at the earth’s surface as described by

        and can be expressed as:

        GMST(year) – GMST(1850) = TCS(1+beta)LOG[CO2(year)/285]/LOG[2]

        where “beta” is the somewhat uncertain net radiative forcing of other GHG and aerosols since 1850 as a fraction of CO2 radiative forcing, and 285 ppm was the approximate atm. CO2 concentration in 1850.

        According to the observational approach of Lewis and Curry (2014) that found a “best estimate” value of TCR = TCS = 1.3C, uncertainty in effects of aerosols on the value of “beta”, is by far the largest contributor to uncertainty in determining TCR; uncertainty in the GMST data has a much smaller contributor to uncertainty. However, we note here that TCS(1+beta) = 1.8C can be extracted relatively accurately from the temperature data without having to determine “beta”. If beta, that is a function of both natural and anthropogenic sources, is assumed to continue to have its historical value for the remainder of this century, TCS(1+beta) = 1.8C can be used to make reasonably accurate AGW temperature projections for the remainder of this century using the above equation and a reasonable projection for the annual average CO2 concentration, CO2(year), for each remaining year of this century.

        Different time periods may be selected for extracting the constant TCS(1+beta) from the historical temperature and CO2(year) data, but consideration must be given to the approx. 62-year natural temperature cycles when choosing starting and stopping time periods.

        If “beta” is assigned a nominal value of 0.5, then from TCS(1+beta) = 1.8C, TCS = 1.2C, only half of your 2.4C estimate. Papers by Lewis since Lewis and Curry (2014) argue their TCR = 1.3C value should be reduced because aerosols don’t seem to have as much cooling effects as claimed in the IPCC AR5 report on which report data, their 2014 observational determination of TCR was based.

      • 75% of the CO2 increase and 75% of the temperature increase have occurred since 1950, not by coincidence. The temperature deviation now is several standard deviations above the kind of variability expected from oceans, the sun or volcanoes. The lines I plotted show a good fit to 1 C per 100 ppm which is, in effect, 2.4 C per doubling for the 300-400 ppm range. If you don’t want to use a best-fit line to observations for the time since 1950, you would need to demonstrate a theoretical reason as to why. Natural variability since 1950 could have been either sign (the sun has declined, if anything, for example), so it makes sense to use the observed fit as a middle estimate.

      • Jim D: No models, just observations.

        As always, you ignore outright the evidence for an oscillation with a period of about 950 years. All of your conclusions depend on the assumption that such an oscillation does not exist. A strong case for what causes the oscillation has not been built, as far as I can tell, but to claim outright that it can’t exist ignores the data outright.

        Any comments that follow an assertion like “No models” are almost certain to be unreliable.

      • Jim D: If you don’t want to use a best-fit line to observations for the time since 1950, you would need to demonstrate a theoretical reason as to why.

        A theoretical reason is ready to hand, and has been often presented: some physical process has caused the ~950 year periodicity that is found in the data, the Minoan, Roman and Medieval warm periods, and such. That “something” has been called “unicorns” because no strong case for any particular mechanisms has been made. The alternative to “something” would be “nothing”, as in “nothing has caused the apparent periodicity — it emerged without a cause.” Or perhaps the data are unusually unreliable, even by climate science standards.

        As always, a reminder that trillions of dollars of investment money, with the labor and opportunity costs associated, ride on the conclusions. No really good argument follows from “The apparent periodicity emerged without a cause.”

      • MM, if you are saying “observations” 950 years ago can trump the temperature trend of the last 60 years, you have a misplaced hope in paleoclimatology for these types of determinations. Perhaps you base your hope on one paper (which one?). Do you really believe it so much, or is it that you disbelieve the effects of known forcings so much that you view the temperature rise with the CO2 rise as just coincidental and not at all evidential.

      • Jim D: MM, if you are saying “observations” 950 years ago can trump the temperature trend of the last 60 years

        What I said was that your conclusion rests on an unsupported assumption.

      • MM, it is supported by physics and observational evidence, as clear as it can be, that the physics is correct.

      • Jim D: “MM, it is supported by physics and observational evidence, as clear as it can be, that the physics is correct.”


      • Jim D: MM, it is supported by physics and observational evidence, as clear as it can be, that the physics is correct.

        You are kind of confused.

      • MM, you are the one who obfuscated with something about 950 years ago when I was just showing the last 60 years of observations that you still haven’t an explanation for. Similarly, when someone recently and publicly asked Judith why the current climate is the warmest in centuries, she had no answer. She needs an answer, and supporting evidence, for the next time someone asks that, otherwise no one will think she knows any credible alternative to the majority view. I don’t think the 950-year cycle with no known mechanism will pass muster, however.

      • Jim D: MM, you are the one who obfuscated with something about 950 years ago when I was just showing the last 60 years of observations that you still haven’t an explanation for.

        It is not obfuscation to point out that you are cherry-picking the data. There isn’t an explanation for the 950 year period in the data, three instances being the Minoan, Roman and Medieval warm periods. Is the current warm period also a result of an unknown process? Evidence is insufficient for a conclusion. You think that there is no process responsible for the apparent periodicity. Assuming that there is no such process underlies your “model free” derivation. It is not model free, it depends on an assumption that you prefer not to state unambiguously: Nothing made that 950 year period happen.

        Did something make that 950 year periodicity happen? Did the previous warm periods happen without being produced by a cause? Your derivation assumes, I repeat assumes, that the answers are “No” and “Yes”, respectively. I repeat that is not “model free”.

  17. Judith! This website made my day. I am so grateful that you took a stand at the Congressional hearings. Thank you for you.

  18. Merry Christmas to Judith and denizens.

  19. Happy holidays and best wishes for the New Year!

  20. Happy holidays to all and to a great and prosperous 2016.

  21. Merry Christmas to all!

  22. Merry Christmas. Feliz Navidad. Happy New Year.

    Our family is in Islamorada Florida (Florida Keys) experiencing strong breeze and balmy temperatures. No need for heating nor air conditioning. Not quite off the grid as refrigeration needed to keep cool the just caught fish (Thanks Capt’n Dallas!) and the beer cold.

    However. It just doesn’t seem like Christmas without the blustery cold weather up North.

  23. The manager left but what stuck in his head
    Were the words that the grizzled old coal-man had said
    Energy storage is something we need
    Without it “green power” is useless indeed

    We can launch a sleek rocket, land a robot on Mars
    We can build hybrid engines to power our cars
    A storage solution can surely be found
    If we dare to think different, turn our thoughts upside-down

    The perfect energy storage solution was discovered long ago.
    It is Fossil Fuels!

  24. Mann has once again posted an article at Huff Po to satisfy the willingly misled and has used the totally discredited hockey stick. All the Huff Po adherents need to do is Google MWP or Roman Warm Period to know there is a wealth of peer reviewed papers citing both warm anomalies.

    He also references Judith’s testimony before the Senate committee.

    • All the alarmism is based on the hockey stick.

      Alarmism does not work with natural cycles.

      Judith gets a mention. Not sure if the quote is actually what she said at Cruz’s hearing.

      • Mann is insane if that is what he pulled from my testimony. Oops, probably not insane, just agenda driven and in a never ending quest to try to discredit me.

      • I assumed it was a typo and you meant to write inane, oops.

      • Wow. That guy is a poisonous snake. Steyn will eventually dispatch him.

      • Look at Mann’s behaviour. Look at the diagnostic indicators for delusional psychosis. People suffering from the condition are likely to take it to their death bed.


      • Wow! Read some of the comments on the Mann HuffPo article. Talk about an echo chamber!!

      • Dr Mann reverently quotes BEST but he seems to have misinterpreted their data.

        Their data clearly says temperatures have risen 1 .5 C in the last 250 years

        But of course we had a bounce back of temperatures at that time and the low point was around 1690 when you can take another1 degree off. So we are already at 2 .5 c above pre industrial.

        Which would be a bit scary if anyone did not believe in natural variability with considerable fluctuations in that flat hockey stick shaft. Even the met office doesn’t believe in that these days.

        There were plenty of periods around as warm as today with the period most notably above today’s being from 860 to 1190 . And of course the roman warm period was even warmer. And the Minoan warm period warmer than that. And the Holocene optimum the warmest of all.

        Judith, next time you testify at a congress hearing why not take a historical climatologist? You must have a pile of them over there that can comment on the US Situation , which is what the congress will be primarily interested in.


      • An original 1990s hockey stick! Love the retro look. Of course, to see it without immediately gaping in disbelief, it helps to be:

        a) shut off from the natural world
        b) ignorant of human history
        c) a HuffPo reader

        You really need all three now, but it’s important to remember that HuffPo only started in 2005. There was always the Guardian and NYT, but HuffPo has a special way of concentrating the automated opinions and self-loathing of the Herd of Independent Minds (now called the New Class).

        Judith, you could not have two more flattering enmities than HuffPo and Michael Mann.

        Congrats and Merry Christmas!

        – ATTC

      • jim2

        This is what they are fed continuously. Even if 100 papers were provided to show the absurdity of Mann’s work, they would not listen. The North Koreans could learn a thing about brainwashing from all the stuff fed to Huff Po readers. It is not limited to Climate. The constant feed of economic illiteracy is as bad. It does not take much to put holes in the material they are given about the Budget, Social Security, etc.

        I doubt many do independent research.

      • Since “massive” reforestation is likely going to be required anyway, does that mean we can return to more conservationist approaches?

        btw, I just read a correlation study that indicates asthma may double your risk for lung cancer. Since increased asthma seems to be linked to diesel emissions around high volume ports shouldn’t that mean getting back to clean air act basics?

        Oh, and this just in, rapid expansion of the California Almond industry and use of a surfacant (similar to the surfacant in RoundUp) appears to be the cause of the honey bee issue. Odd that.

        Advocate science seems to be on a losing stream all of a sudden.

      • That article made me rage, wow.

      • Mann’s entire argument is nothing but circular logic. First he shows Fig 1, cumulative anthropogenic CO2 emissions. But he doesn’t show the amounts released into and removed from the atmosphere from other sources. If he did, people would see how the anthro emissions are insignificant. Then he shows Fig 2, that purports to show how much the temperature has risen from the anthro CO2 emissions according to the IPCC models. But these amounts of temperature increases can only be correct if their models are correct. And the models have repeatedly shown very poor out-of-sample forecasting ability.

  25. If I was the Climate Czar we would study natural variability until we understood what caused climate cycles before man-made CO2 could have caused the same changes that are happening now.

    We would pause all solutions based on output from climate models until we had the Right Stuff in the Models to match past climate cycles.

    We would pause all work on Climate Sensitivity to CO2 until we verified that Natural Variability could not have caused a repeating cycle that has been in place in the same bounds for ten thousand years.

  26. stevefitzpatrick

    Happy and healthy holidays to you and yours Judith.

  27. stevefitzpatrick

    There are some circumstances where a back-feeding generator would pose a danger to power line workers, but from a practical standpoint, whatever part of the grid a local generator can “see” (everything back to the feed break), it will represent essentially zero impediance, and quickly overload a small generator…. triping it’s breakers or simply stalling the engine. Of course you should always disconnect from the grid before connecting a generator (and I do), but the danger to line workers is unlikly very large unless the line break is very isolated (eg a feed line to one house or a few) or the gererator is very large.

    • How true, but electrical safety requires an electrical worker to verify that a circuit is de-energized or take specific safety precautions.

      Using the proper tools and wear the gloves.

    • Willis Eschenbach

      Thanks, Steve. You are correct that a part of the grid MAY show zero impedance … but the problem is, it may not.

      And you are right that the danger to linemen MIGHT be small … but the problem is, it may not be.

      Ask a fireman sometime about the joys of working on a burning house with a few kilowatts of solar cells on top …

      Finally, the last time my house power went out, the fault was two houses away … and of course, those houses had generators running, so they were off the grid, and if my generator were backfeeding, the linemen would have been fried. So potential problems are not as uncommon as you imply.

      So you are correct, the odds of a lineman dying are low … but that’s not all that comforting if you’re the guy who dies.

      Which is exactly why the statement I quoted from the Honda manual about disconnecting was put in the manual.

      bobdroege | December 24, 2015 at 5:17 pm

      How true, but electrical safety requires an electrical worker to verify that a circuit is de-energized or take specific safety precautions.

      Using the proper tools and wear the gloves.

      True … but ensuring that there is no power on the line means nothing if the neighbor turns on his generator halfway through the repair …

      Finally, we got into this regarding solar systems, not generators … if a whole subdivision doesn’t have interlocks to keep the solar systems from feeding the grid when it is out, you’ve got huge problems for the linemen.


      • Willis,

        A lot of people don’t seem to be aware of grid feed-in solar installations. The devil is often in the detail.

        In some (most?) domestic solar installations, in the event of grid outage, the circuitry feeding the solar power to the grid trips out and disconnects within milliseconds.

        Unfortunately, for most systems, this means you can’t use your solar electricity when the grid fails. Given enough money and forethought, these problems can be overcome, but quite often a small generator, and an extension lead or two, is enough for temporary outages.

        Or keep a supply of batteries, candles or LED lamps, and put up with pre-industrial revolution conditions. After you’ve experienced the fun of non flushing toilets, faucets with no water, fancy but useless electrical appliances, you might wish for a bit of modern technology to make life more comfortable.

        I’m pretty sure you have experienced such conditions, as have I. I prefer comfort, but I know people who seem to prefer hair shirts and deprivation for some reason. Oh well.


  28. Merry Christmas to all and thanks for the great data and talk.
    Here comes little ice age 2 in cycle 25. I hope for a white christmas

    • Scott, I do too. For you. Here in Fort Lauderdale on the beach tomorrow, not so much.
      A merry holiday season reminder that all climate is local, not global. Aure you can average Barrow Alaska with South Florida. But what does it mean? Dunno for sure, but for sure not much. Never did bring my Wisconsin snowshoes and snowmobiles to Florida when made the big move.

  29. A very merry Christmas, and a happy and prosperous New Year, to all – even Warmists.

    ‘Tis the season to be jolly!


  30. One important issue. Modern coal fired plants are in no way DIRTY!!! They are cleaner than many “NATURAL” emissions from “NATURAL” areas. If you call them dirty due to CO2 emissions then we have another argument as to the amount of CO2 produced during construction, maintenance, land use changes, and the CO2 produced by backup power for the so called renewables…

    • kuhnkat,

      But, but . . .

      Haven’t you heard the Warmists and Watermelons (green on the outside, red on the inside) carrying on about filthy, dirty, black coal? Just see those poor coal miners coming out of the pit all black!

      To a follower of “Death Trains” Hansen, burning evil black coal generates evil black CO2! What a pack of fools!

      CO2 is essential for the survival of humanity. At present, the more the merrier.

      The dimwits need to explain how to smelt iron without coal, let alone things like cement, and a raft of chemicals. Oil is also good. Try manufacturing lubricants with wind power. How about plastics?

      Merry Christmas.


  31. Merry Christmas.

    “If you’re dreaming of a white Christmas for Fort Collins, chances are improving that will become reality. And it’ll be light enough to see it snow because of a rare full moon.”

  32. Joyeux Noël madame Curry… Nice job you ‘re doing for science and thruth.

  33. May the Warmists have a preposterous New Year!

  34. thank you for the good cheer

  35. stevenreincarnated

    Merry Christmas everyone.

  36. Geoff Sherrington


  37. Geoff Sherrington

    Melbourne Australia, Christmas Day forecast max of about 35C or 95F.
    All the best to Denizens, special thanks and gratitude Dr Curry.

  38. Merry Christmas. This is an interesting development. It’s been going on for a while, but I just spotted it. From the article:

    his is, indeed, the biggest environmental catastrophe since the BP Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010; and for now, there is no way to stop it.

    This methane disaster is worse than can be sufficiently described in words, because while it’s estimated well over 100,000 pounds of methane spew into the atmosphere every hour, the leak can’t be halted, at least until spring. Even then, that stoppage depends entirely on the efficacy of a proposed fix — which remains a dubiously open question.

    According to the California Air Resources Board, methane — a greenhouse gas 72 times more impactful in the atmosphere than carbon dioxide — has been escaping from the Aliso Canyon site with force equivalent “to a volcanic eruption” for about two months now. So far, the total leaked gas measures somewhere around 100,000 tons — adding “approximately one-quarter to the regular statewide methane emissions” during that same time frame.

    “The relative magnitude of emissions from the leak compared to other sources of methane in the State underscores the urgency of stopping the gas leak. This comes on top of any problems caused by odor and any potential impacts from exposure,” states the initial report on the Aliso leak by air quality officials.

    “The enormity of the Aliso Canyon gas leak cannot be overstated. Gas is escaping through a ruptured pipe more than 8,000 feet underground, and it shows no signs of stopping. As the pressure from the weight on top of the pipe causes the gas to diffuse, it only continues to dissipate across a wider and wider area,” explained Erin Brockovich, who spent time in nearby Porter Ranch investigating the leak.

    • Willis Eschenbach

      Mmmm … it is a methane leak, and should be stopped, but the “biggest environmental catastrophe since the BP Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded in the Gulf of Mexico”?

      Please point to one single human, or mammal, or bird, or fish, or even a bug that has been killed by the escaping methane.

      Next, the global emissions of CH4 are about 770 million tonnes per year. The methane leak to date is about 100,000 tonnes, which is about one-hundreth of one percent of total emissions … and you’re worried?

      Finally, the person whining about the hundredth of one percent increase in methane is Erin Brockovich … and if you don’t know about the lies she’s told in the past (and profited from) see here, here, and here.

      So no … it’s not an “ecological disaster”, not even a small one, no matter how much money Erin Brockovich thinks she can make by peddling more lies.


      • W. I have to say I’m quite smitten with your People magazine treatment of Erin Brockovich. That takes real talent and guts to post completely irrelevant links that don’t even support your petty diversion. Bravo. It’s a definite theme employed by the WUWT stable of sciency-doers that coun’t you as the most bloviatious. Just one little nit ti, I thought you and your fellow pro-pollution cheerleaders claimed that BP Horizon was not a disaster, but was good for the ecosystem by providing valuable nutrients to the beneficial bacteria of the GOM marine environment. Hell, only dirt-bags eat tuna from the Gulf, so what’s the problem, am I right? Let them eat catfish!

        For this harmless little gas leak, only 2,150 families had to relocate and a couple schools were closed down to avoid health effects associated chronic exposures to methane, methyl mercaptan and other trace gases. That’s hardly a disaster since they will be able to go home after the leak is fixed in March. Who knows how long after that they will have to wait to go back home, it’s like they are getting an extra long vacation. Also, I’m sure they won’t have any trouble at all selling their homes in the future. Since everything is harmless as you imply, it’s probably not disclosable in a real estate transaction.

        It must be a difficult burden, Willis, to be blessed by a superior intellect spawned from narcissistic personality disorder because of the constant nagging of silly and shallow little people whom expect you to recognize a disaster when it doesn’t even effect you or your immediate circle of fans. Most people have not evolved like you beyond the quaint bourgeois notions of honesty and discretion.

        When Don Don finishes prepping Christmas dinner, perhaps he will stop by and give you the same treatment you gave to Erin by reminding us of your valor and integrity: What is good for the goose is gooder for the gander.

        – all the best –

      • David Springer

        Willis Eschenback is a craven little worm. Thanks for the response, Horst, he clearly earned it.

      • Willis Eschenbach

        Horst says:

        W. I have to say I’m quite smitten with your People magazine treatment of Erin Brockovich. That takes real talent and guts to post completely irrelevant links that don’t even support your petty diversion.

        Since you haven’t pointed out even one incorrect claim in the information I posted about Erin Brockovich, I fear your response is meaningless posturing. Come back when you have facts instead, and we can discuss it. You seem to think that she is Julia Roberts. She is not.

        You go on to lie about what I’ve said:

        “Just one little nit ti, I thought you and your fellow pro-pollution cheerleaders claimed that BP Horizon was not a disaster, but was good for the ecosystem by providing valuable nutrients to the beneficial bacteria of the GOM marine environment.”

        Since I never said that or anything even remotely resembling that, you are simply lying about me and what I said. Lying about what people said won’t get you any traction, here or elsewhere.

        Yes, as I said, the methane leak is a problem and it should be stopped. But comparing it to the BP blowout in the Gulf is a sick joke. And once again you lie when you say:

        “Since everything is harmless as you imply, it’s probably not disclosable in a real estate transaction.”

        I SPECIFICALLY SAID IT WAS A PROBLEM AND THE LEAK NEEDS TO BE PLUGGED, and you lie about that and claim I said it was “harmless”. I said nothing of the sort. What I said was that I doubted that you or anyone else could point to one creature that has died from the methane leak … and meanwhile, the BP leak killed thousands and thousands of creatures great and small and polluted nearby landscapes, some for years. Equivalent? Don’t make me laugh.

        Seriously, Horst, if you want to discuss the issues I’m happy to do so. But simply puffing your chest out and launching ad hominem attacks, while flat out lying about what I said, marks you as nothing more than a pathetic poseur.

        Now, you could remove that mark by actually providing some evidence to back up your claims, and by actually quoting what I did say instead of lying about what I didn’t say.

        Or you could keep up your charade with more lies and personal attacks.

        Your choice …


      • Willis Eschenbach,

        Horst Graben encapsulates the Warmist mantra of “deny, divert, obscure” quite nicely.

        First he denies what you actually wrote, and substitutes something completely different. Then he diverts the discussion away from what was actually written, and instead talks about dirt bags eating tuna or some such emotional nonsense. Holocaust, anyone?

        And then he obscures your original points by by making unsubstantiated assertions, together with a fair serving of ad homs, and garnished with some fairly puerile sarcasm.

        Warmists seem to have difficulty differentiating fact from fantasy. This is not surprising, given their confusion between CO2 and pollution of various sorts. Combine this with a demonstrated lack of knowledge of history, physics, mathematics, chemistry, geology, and a few other branches of science, and it is a wonder these people continue to find mugs stupid or gullible enough to continue to pay them for serving up trash dressed up,as treasure.

        But it’s Christmas, and even the Horst Grabens can do with a bit of Christmas cheer. Even the mentally retarded deserve our compassion. It’s not their fault they are the way they are.


      • David Springer

        Flynn you’re an idi0t.

      • Willis said:”… and you’re worried?”

        I’m not sure to whom this is addressed. It’s probably not likely the author is reading the blog here.

      • richardswarthout


        Right on!


      • David Springer,

        You wrote –

        “Flynn you’re an idi0t.”

        If that’s the best you can do, you need to lift your game. If you need some pointers on how to be more effective at delivering gratuitous offense, do let me know. I’m sure I can help.

        Cheers and Season’s Greetings.

      • richardswarthout


        Springer writes as if his left hemisphere is not fully clicking. Perhaps he should seek some professional help.


      • Merry Christmas David Springer, Mike Flynn and Willis Eschenbach!

      • Mike Flynn, Just some friendly advise. The word retarded had become very derisive and is considered a form of mean spirited slang. The PC version is Mentally Challenged.

      • Ordvic: Mike was referring to himself.

  39. Family in Michigan experienced the same pre Christmas storm in 2013 Steve McIntyre described. I live in the northeast, and have always wondered why diesel generators are not more available and popular. Natural gas is not always available- I don’t have service- but I do have a 250 gallon tank of heating oil. Nat gas backup would be best, but lots of folks have gasoline back up generators, with its issues of safety, power out means gas stations will be closed, etc.

  40. Merry Christmas to Dr Curry and the rest of the Denizens!

  41. The warmest year on record?
    Not likely, not in Europe

    Merry Christmas to one and all .

    • The term “usual” is highly misleading in this case. No temperature is usual. In fact the average is a rare event. We have the same semantic problem here in the US where the NWS refers to the average as “normal” when it is actually abnormal, that is rare.

      • Agree, I blame statistical terminology.
        In the graph out of 65 samples only one is about average (year 1975), at least there are some error bars in there.
        NOOA for the ACE uses more unusual ’% of median’ , than as a way of clarification, slightly less scientific and more informal term ‘normal’ (below normal, normal or above normal).
        Ah, well, at least we know what they mean.
        happy xmas.

  42. Merry Christmas to all. Hope you get the weather you’re looking for whatever it is.

  43. My Josh calendar just arrived (courtesy of hand-delivery by the main man himself and a kindly Santette).

    Fantastic as ever.

    If anything, his wit and pencil grow sharper as time goes by.

    A must for all who don’t drink the ‘climate science’ Hott-Aid

  44. In the late 70s AEP ran out of coal in Ohio after a freezing rain left the piles as impenetrable rocks.

    “2035 – The Year In Review” by Paul Homewood out today and it’s a shocker!

    (h/t to MarkStoval at WUWT)

    Merry Christmas to Judy and all her blog denizens:)

  46. Happy Christmas and a productive new year to you too Judith, and please keep up the good work, you are an example to all of us!

  47. David Springer

  48. David Springer

  49. David Springer

  50. David Springer

  51. On a political front:

    This morning, with the winds 25 to 30 knots blowing from Cuba, a refuge boat load came swimming ashore. Wet foot dry foot. Refused Coast Guard assistance. Feliz Navidad.

  52. David L. Hagen

    Good News & Climate Guarantee
    We have Good News that

    . . to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

    Despite the fear mongers, we have a climate guarantee that:

    “As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease.”

    We are assured all the wisdom and insight we need to accommodate such variations.

    • In Galatians 5:13-15 we were warned, “You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful state; rather serve one another humbly in love. For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.”

  53. If I might be given an OT Christmas Courtesy. Watching the Star Wars trailer I was intrigued with the engineering of the Droid BB-8 robot. Now I get it. My grandson has been playing with his new toy BB-8 this morning and it is simplistic genius. The technology in his future is breathtaking.

    And to think how I was so fascinated by my simple Spinning Top toy on Christmas so many years ago.

  54. Pingback: Merry Christmas, Everyone | Transterrestrial Musings

  55. There’s a curious parallel between reluctance to call Christmas by its proper name and reluctance to recognize that purely radiative effects do not control surface climate. The phrase “Climate of XMAS” smacks of political correctness no less than the CO2 “control knob” mantra. May PC-driven fear disappear in the new year.