Week in review – science and technology edition

by Judith Curry

A few things that caught my eye this past week.

 

Missing heat (geothermal heat loss) found in the deep ocean [link]

New paper on upgrading soil models [link]

Don’t flip out: Earth’s magnetic poles aren’t about to switch  [link]

Scientist: Demotion of Free Speech at Yale Imperils Intellectual Advances  [link]

Naomi Oreskes is using the same merchant of doubt tactics she criticizes to advance a political agenda [link]

New oil spill solution sounds promising. [link]…

Extreme weather poses increasing risk to US power grid [link]

Ocean acidification not a current problem, top NOAA scientist insists in FOIA-ed e-mails [link]

Negative emissions: An assessments of key biophysical limits [link]

Why New England’s warm weather has nothing to do with global warming [link]

Jonathan Haidt: “the American academy has become a quasi-religious institution” [link]

Groundwater depletion adding to global sea-level rise [link]

New paper: attribution of extreme weather and climate-related events [link]

Pres. Obama: ‘Feel Free to Disagree With Somebody, But Don’t Try to Just Shut Them Up’  [link]

Scientists say we could be underestimating Arctic methane emissions [link]

The amazing surge in scientific hype [link]

Review:  Outlook on Migration, Environment and Climate Change [link]

Coastal marshes more resilient to #sealevelrise than previously believed [link]

Meltwater from Greenland may have added 25mm to global sea levels between 1900 – 2010 [link]

More people should know von Humboldt — one of the most creative scientific geniuses in history. [link] …

Accidental Geoengineering? Airline traffic may help create an icy haze that’s brightening U.S. skies [link]

This scientist uncovered problems w/ pesticides. Then the govt started to make his life miserable.  [like]

Better than wind, solar? Waste heat to power: Hottest new clean energy solution [link]

Salty sea spray affects cloud lifetimes [link]

New paper finds glacier on Antarctic Peninsula melted faster during Medieval Warm Period than at present [link] …

New paper finds Northern Canada has cooled over the past 1000 years [link]

“Evidence Of the Medieval Warm Period In Argentina”  [link]

“Heterogeneous communities restrain group excesses; homogeneous communities march toward the extremes.” [link]

South Asian monsoon “non-GHG (aerosols and land-use)..are responsible for observed changes in seasonal rainfall.” [link]

“significant increase..in both vegetation greenness and monsoon rainfall over the Sahel since the early 1980s” [link]

Misguided US biofuel policies are killing valuable wild bee populations, according to a new study: [link]

‘Hydricity’ concept uses solar energy to produce power round-the-clock [link]

It would be a mistake to underestimate the potential of the battery revolution. [link] …

Brazil: A Nation’s Churning Waterless Storm [link]

Germany’s offshore wind fiasco [link]

242 responses to “Week in review – science and technology edition

  1. Pingback: Week in review – science and technology edition | Enjeux énergies et environnement

  2. “waste heat to power”.

    And waste heat direct usage as well

    http://www.heliexpower.com/the-technology/

    and loads of other examples.

  3. David Springer

    They say beauty is only skin deep but ugly goes down to the bone. Naomi Oreskes is living proof of the latter.

  4. David Springer

    Missing heat from earth’s crust found in deep ocean. Not just there. 12/15 SciAm reports a study on mantle plumes. More of them and much larger than thought. 28 plumes stretching from mantle to surface with an average width of 500 – 800 kilometers.

    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/geologists-confirm-mantle-plumes-generate-volcanic-hotspots/

  5. Curious George

    The “Germany’s offshore wind fiasco” link simply states that wind energy is intermittent, surprise, surprise. So much that the UK actually pays windfarms not to generate electricity when it would overload the grid – http://bishophill.squarespace.com/blog/2015/12/15/windfall.html

    The idea of paying producers for not producing is hardly new. It is nicely described in Joseph Heller’s Catch 22: “His specialty was alfalfa, and he made a good thing out of not growing any. The government paid him well for every bushel of alfalfa he did not grow. The more alfalfa he did not grow, the more money the government gave him, and he spent every penny he didn’t earn on new land to increase the amount of alfalfa he did not produce. Major Major’s father worked without rest at not growing alfalfa. On long winter evenings he remained indoors and did not mend harness, and he sprang out of bed at the crack of noon every day just to make certain that the chores would not be done. He invested in land wisely and soon was not growing more alfalfa than any other man in the county. Neighbors sought him out for advice on all subjects, for he had made much money and was therefore wise. “As ye sow, so shall ye reap,” he counselled one and all, and everyone said “Amen.”

  6. The wild bees hurt by biofuels thing is very poor ‘science’. Two things confound correlation with causality. Loss of fallow fields is not the big deal.
    1. Biofuels (corn ethanol) began ramping in the early 1980’s, the same period when the varroa mite invaded North America and started killing colonies. My farm is excellent wild bee territory (two ponds, a spring, three hive accomodating woodlots, wild crabapples, acres and acres of pasture and alfalfa). We have lost lost two wild bee colonies in the past decade, one to loss of the hollow hive tree and one to varroa. Both of the local beekeepers have had varroa problems.
    2. The places most intensively farmed for corn (biofuel or not) are VERY poor wild bee habitat. Vast monoculture fields covering hundreds of acres, no/few trees, no/few food and water sources. Southern Illinois. Most of Iowa…The wild bees there mostly lost when the prairies got plowed. They didn’t in places with contours, woodlots, alfalfa (which makes great honey), fruit trees… Besides, both corn and soybeans are self pollinating crops. They dont need bees.

    • Damn Rud, I wanna work on your farm

      • SM, lets get together via Judith. You are invited to the farm any time of the year, mine to learn from nos for over 30 now. If you are serious.
        You want to pump well water, we have that well 30 feet off the old cabin kitchen, 60 foot down to first of two bountiful aquifers. That well taps the first of two out of hand pumping convenience.
        You want horse drawn wood lot snaking, sorry, We sold the horses when my daughter was 16 and suddenly became alergic to dust mites. But if you insist, the horse sheds are still in place. Me, I prefer my 1983 Ford Model 1923 tractor with the superweighted tires, front loading half ton three variant buckets (3 designs), and a three point back loaded hydraulic hitch with a two gang plow, seven row harrow, post hole digger, and 7′ leveling blade. The ‘Light’ tractor is diesel. Oldie but goodie. Only been in for major repairs twice in 30 years. Plus one ruptured big rear tire puncututed by a one inch tree stub out brush hogging milea away from the main barns.. Boy, was that a fix pain.

      • Sorry to hear about the horses, Rud. My farm is dedicated to horses, where I run an observatory on horse cognition (plus other critters). See http://horsecognition.blogspot.com/. The basic idea is that an instinct is a form of expert knowledge. In fact my last two posts were on the idea that tree growth is a form of behavior. In any case we welcome visitors. I too have an old Ford tractor. They run forever.

    • Econtalk on Bees …

      Wally Thurman of North Carolina State University and PERC talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the world of bees, beekeepers, and the market for pollination. Thurman describes how farmers hire beekeepers to pollinate their crops and how that market keeps improving crop yields and producing honey. Thurman then discusses how beekeepers have responded to Colony Collapse Disorder–a not fully understood phenomenon where colonies disband, dramatically reducing the number of bees. The discussion closes with the history of bee pollination as an example of a reciprocal externality and how Coase’s insight helps understand how the pollination market works.

      http://www.econtalk.org/archives/2013/12/wally_thurman_o.html

      • I suspect that sourcing queens from a small number of suppliers has created a near mono-culture of bees in many areas, which would make them genetically susceptible to “plagues”.

  7. How is the Arctic methane paper bad news?
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2015/12/21/bad-news-scientists-say-we-could-be-underestimating-arctic-methane-emissions/

    Let’s see:
    -Methane concentrations are way, way below what the IPCC predicted.
    -Methane from permafrost melting is higher than expected. So, part of the already small increase in methane concentrations comes not from direct emissions, but from Arctic warming.
    -Only possible conclusion is that direct methane emissions matter even less than we thought.

  8. The SciAm report on the growth of hype is interesting. One of the hype indicators words is “unprecedented” which is rampant in climate studies. Another is “robust” which is also used far too often. Two if the bias types in my 15 type taxonomy are:
    #13. Exaggeration of the importance of findings by researchers and agencies.
    #14. Amplification of exaggeration by the press.
    See my http://object.cato.org/sites/cato.org/files/pubs/pdf/working-paper-29.pdf

  9. The Greenland paper explains XX century melting…

    …using ‘photos of the ice sheet taken between 1978 and 1987’.

  10. Curious George

    I like what President Obama said on “Don’t Try to Just Shut Them Up.” It is strange that he did appoint as a scientific advisor Mr. Holdren, whose science got settled back in 1969 – https://stevengoddard.wordpress.com/2010/10/10/holdren-1969-the-science-is-settled-everyone-starving-before-2000/
    Collecting fossils is a nice hobby.

  11. From JCs links:
    There is a new form of climate denialism to look out for – so don’t celebrate yet … Naomi Oreskes

    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/dec/16/new-form-climate-denialism-dont-celebrate-yet-cop-21

    After the signing of a historic climate pact in Paris, we might now hope that the merchants of doubt – who for two decades have denied the science and dismissed the threat – are officially irrelevant.

    But not so fast. There is also a new, strange form of denial that has appeared on the landscape of late, one that says that renewable sources can’t meet our energy needs.

    Oddly, some of these voices include climate scientists, who insist that we must now turn to wholesale expansion of nuclear power. Just this past week, as negotiators were closing in on the Paris agreement, four climate scientists held an off-site session insisting that the only way we can solve the coupled climate/energy problem is with a massive and immediate expansion of nuclear power. More than that, they are blaming environmentalists, suggesting that the opposition to nuclear power stands between all of us and a two-degree world.

    Why cheap oil is the key to beating climate change

    That would have troubling consequences for climate change if it were true, but it is not. Numerous high quality studies, including one recently published by Mark Jacobson of Stanford University, show that this isn’t so. We can transition to a decarbonized economy without expanded nuclear power, by focusing on wind, water and solar, coupled with grid integration, energy efficiency and demand management. In fact, our best studies show that we can do it faster, and more cheaply.

    From the New Deniers:

    http://hosted.verticalresponse.com/372493/c25ebfa5d2/1603503199/be41125912/

    Top Climate Scientists Dr. James Hansen, Dr. Tom Wigley, Dr. Ken Caldeira and Dr. Kerry Emanuel to Issue Stark Challenge at Paris COP21 Climate Conference

  12. Re: Ocean acidification not a current problem, top NOAA scientist insists in FOIA-ed e-mails.

    Seems odd that the Chairman of the House Committee with direct oversight cannot get emails while an ordinary FOIA request returns over 400.

  13. Groundwater contribution to SLR. 10 percent is maybe credible, 20% is not. I read the 2012 GRL paper behind this article. Models all the way down, using flux proxies rather than actual volume estimates (water levels in wells, GRACE). Big error bars, and admitted overestimate of draw down in “non-arid regions”.
    Agriculture uses 70% of available water, but only 20 percent of the worlds land is irrigated. The rest, and all forests, rely on precipitation, which also replenishes ground water. The water level in the ‘worst’ well on the farm, drilled in 1910, has not changed since. We had the well reworked about a decade ago. Still usable, just a better pump.
    Take the US Ogallala aquifer, the largest in the world. Proves irrigation and drinking water to Nebraska, eastern Colorado, western Kansas, western Oklahoma, eastern New Mexico, and the Texas panhandle. According to USGS, about 10% of the area is gaining groundwater (well levels rising), about 55% is no change (winter precipitation replenishes summer irrigation withdrawals) and about 35% is depleting. Its only that 35% that adds to SLR. It is estimated that west Kansas will go dry in 25 years. Virtually all the groundwater elsewhere in the US except southern California more or less self replenishes annually from precipitation with some variation for wet/dry years . The only other areas of significant massive permanent groundwater depletion are in central India and Bangaladesh (where dropping tube well water levels are causing arsenic oxidation and poisoning), and probably northern Africa and northern China (for which there is little data other than Grace).
    For groundwater to raise SLR it has to be deleted. There simply are not enough places in the world where there is evidence of that happening on long time frames.
    The GRL paper underlying the article is from 2012, and contains vast error bars in its figures. Separate GRACE water table estimates are likewise very uncertain and imprecise. How bad is discussed in essay PseudoPrecision. None of the SLR closure papers even consider groundwater depletion as a partial closure solution. Whatever the groundwater contribution might be, it is lost in the uncertainty of SLR (+/- 0.4 mmin satellite altimetry).

    • I read the 2010 paper (same author, Wada) and although I’m not exactly sure what they did it’s true it was massively speculative.

      -They indexed groundwater use to total water use, i.e. if the latter has increased by whatever percentage. If there is any evidence that this is what has happened in the real world, the authors didn’t mention it.
      -Actual data on groundwater is usually not available, e.g. the Chinese aren’t going to publish online how depleted or full their aquifers are. So again they estimated from total water use.
      -A lot of countries don’t have any data even on water use, nevermind groundwater.
      -They excluded humid areas for some reason.
      -It’s about groundwater alone, without subtracting impoundments. No problem, they say so openly, but the net will of course be lower than the 0.8mm they estimated.

      Nothing wrong with speculation, but when I see a chart purporting to show groundwater contribution per year, with a second decimal and with error bars… the USA Today readers will get the impression that this stuff has actually been measured. Which is not the case at all.

      Even if groundwater has no impact (can’t be sure for now), impoundments do have an impact and can create a false impression of ‘accelerating’ sea level rise. See: ‘Impact of Artificial Reservoir Water Impoundment on Global Sea Level’

      Impoundments in 1950-2000 lowered sea level rise by 0.55mm/year. But dam construction is now near historic lows, so it’s no longer subtracting nearly as much.

    • Rud

      I don’t know what the recent studies say but at the time of one his books in 1982, budyko reckoned that only o.4% of the earths total surface was irrigated. Due to the relevant change in albedo that would increase mean surface temperature by approx 0 .07degrees c.

      If the irrigation has increased to anything like the amount you state this must have raised temperatures considerably. Together with reservoir evaporation and sub ground water loss the water budget must have evolved considerably over the last half century.

      I don’t know if anyone has up to date studies on irrigation/ temperature rise?

      Tonyb

  14. It’s time to face the reality that harnessing offshore wind energy in the tempestuous North Sea is technically and economically unfeasible…

    So long as it’s government that is calling the shots on how scarce resources are to be allocated — instead of a free enterprise capitalistic economy — facing reality is harder than mining coal.

  15. There are number of correlations between various natural events and temperature data (of course ‘correlation doesn’t always mean a causation’). Illustrated correlation (it fails during WWII) again may be just another coincidence, but if it is not we sceptics do have a problem.

  16. Unfortunately, mankind cannot develop and use nuclear or solar energy now without first correcting the errors introduced in these two disciplines in 1946.

    Only the human ego prevents mankind from realizing Aston’s 1922 promise.

  17. Battery revolution potential. Very deceptive article from the renewables association. SCE is not procuring grid storage because it is economic. It is because they were ordered to in 2013 by CPUC, in order to prevent intermittent renewable grid blackouts by 2015-2016. The entire statewide ordered storagecapacity could have been supplied by the proposed Eagle Crest pumped storage, using abandoned pre-existing open pit iron mines, at a cost of $55/kWh rather than the several hundred $/kWh SCE is paying. Essay California Dreaming.

    • Eagle Crest seems to be moving right along, albeit at the glacial pace usual for big engineering projects.

      Some interesting ideas to smooth the regulatory path for pumped hydro in this presentation. (From last month.)

      • AK, thanks for the update. Had not looked since the essay was finished. Two additional things. 1. The extra tranmission lines now being fought over cover less than 10 miles to an existing transmission line corridor that would simply be upgraded. Pretty minimal impact despite what the greenies claim. 2. The CPUC storage directive expressly excluded Eagle Crest by the way it is partitioned. Only 1/3 of storage can be at the transmission grid level. The rest must be distributed on the distribution grid. A direct result of lobbying by CESA, the California Energy Storage Alliance. An unholy alliance of VC funded grid battery startups and LiIon suppliers. Essay California Dreaming names and shames.
        If Eagle Crest finally prevails, it will be because it is desperately needed to offset California’s green lunacy.

      • The extra tran[s]mission lines now being fought over cover less than 10 miles to an existing transmission line corridor that would simply be upgraded. Pretty minimal impact despite what the greenies claim.

        I suspect they’re just clutching at any straw to slow it down, hoping it’ll go away. Most of them, IMO, are ign0rant nay-sayers, opposed to any big human project.

      • Rich businessmen always get a seat at the politicians policy table.

      • Here’s another interesting tidbit:

        A study was recently undertaken to determine the role and value of advanced pumped-storage hydropower (PSH) in the U.S.[1] Work involved developing detailed simulation models of advanced PSH technologies (adjustable speed, or AS, and ternary units) in order to analyze their technical capabilities to provide grid services and to assess the value of these services under different market structures and for different levels of renewable generation resources integrated in the power system. Compared with fixed-speed (FS) PSH units, AS and ternary units provide greater operating flexibility and efficiency but are more expensive to build due to additional equipment and space requirements. An especially important characteristic of AS and ternary technology is their ability to provide regulation service in the pumping mode of operation. [my bold]

        The report describes development of “vendor-neutral dynamic simulation models for advanced PSH technologies”, then goes on to describe the results of production cost and revenue analyses. It tests the “addition of three proposed AS PSH plants — Eagle Mountain, Iowa Hill and Swan Lake North” to all scenarios, finding substantial benefits.

        From the conclusions:

        PSH plants provide a variety of benefits to the power system. In the past the benefits of PSH plants were usually associated only with the energy arbitrage and contingency reserves, but this study clearly shows these are just a fraction of the total value PSH plants provide to the system. Many of the PSH services and contributions are taken for granted, and for many of them there are no established mechanisms to provide revenues to PSH plants for providing those services or contributions to the power system. [my bold]

        The study shows that the value of PSH plants increases with higher penetration of VER [variable energy resources] in the system. In addition to enabling larger integration of VER technologies and reducing the curtailments of excess variable generation, PSH plants reduce overall system generation costs, provide flexibility and various operating reserves necessary for system operation, reduce cycling of thermal units and associated startup/shutdown and ramping costs, reduce transmission congestion, increase the reliability of system operation, and provide many other benefits. In addition, with a larger share of VER in the system, PSH plants tend to have a positive impact on system emissions, as a larger share of pumping energy is provided by VER generation.

        Compared to the conventional FS PSH plants, the analyses showed that the advanced AS PSH technologies provide greater flexibility and faster response to system disturbances, allow for greater savings in overall system production costs, provide larger amounts of various operating reserves, and generally provide more value to the power system.

  18. From the article:

    Glass’s acknowledgment underscores a pair of common foibles in journalism: first, a tendency to rely on, and emphasize, the results of a single study; and second, the abdication of skepticism in the face of seemingly “solid scientific data.” But it’s not just journalism. Even other social scientists, when asked why they hadn’t questioned the counterintuitive results, pointed to their trust in the authority of Donald Green, the respected Columbia professor who coauthored the original paper. (Green, for his part, appears to have been as unpleasantly surprised as anyone and promptly asked Science for the retraction.)

    2010 Year The Lancet published a retraction of the discredited study.

    It’s probably also true that many in the media and academia simply wanted to believe the findings. Broockman and Kalla were trying to replicate LaCour’s findings, not debunk them. They had admired the study, and remembered that their first instinct wasn’t to suspect LaCour but simply to marvel at the strangeness of his results.

    33 Percentage of American parents surveyed by The National Consumers League in 2014 who believe vaccines are linked to autism.*

    The LaCour affair is just one entry in a series of embarrassing revelations that call into question the reliability of published science. One need only consider the steady parade of contradictory health claims in the news: soy, coffee, olive oil, chocolate, red wine—all have been promoted as “miracle foods” based on scientific studies, only to be reported as health risks based on others. Perhaps the most notable hit to science, however, was a recent large-scale attempt to replicate 100 published psychology studies, fewer than half of which could actually be re-created. In fact, just 39 percent. No one is suggesting that the other 61 studies, or even a small percentage of them, were falsified. It’s just that, in the words of the study itself (also published in Science), “Scientific claims should not gain credence because of the status or authority of their originator but by the replicability of their supporting evidence. Even research of exemplary quality may have irreproducible empirical findings because of random or systematic error.”

    http://alumni.berkeley.edu/california-magazine/winter-2015-breaking-news/giving-credence-why-so-much-reported-science-wrong-and

  19. From the article:

    few years ago, a physicist friend of mine made a joke on Facebook about the laws of physics being broken in Italy. He had two pieces of news in mind. One was a claim by a team at the Oscillation Project with Emulsion-tRacking Apparatus (OPERA) in Gran Sasso, who said they’d discovered superluminal neutrinos. The other concerned Andrea Rossi, an engineer from Bologna, who claimed to have a cold fusion reactor producing commercially useful amounts of heat.

    It turned out that my physicist friend and I disagreed about which of these unlikely claims was most credible. He thought it was the neutrinos, because the work had been done by respectable scientists rather than a lone engineer with a somewhat chequered past. I favoured Rossi, on grounds of the physics. Superluminal neutrinos would overturn a fundamental tenet of relativity, but all Rossi needed was a previously unnoticed channel to a reservoir of energy whose existence is not in doubt.

    My friend agreed with me about the physics. (So has every other physicist I’ve asked about it since.) But he still put more weight on the sociological factors – reputation, as it were. So we agreed to bet a dinner on the issue. My friend would pay if Rossi turned out to have something genuine, and I would pay if the neutrinos came up trumps. We’d split the bill if, as then seemed highly likely, both claims turned out to be false.

    https://aeon.co/essays/why-do-scientists-dismiss-the-possibility-of-cold-fusion

    • J2, both are debunked. Superluminal neutrinos turned out to be faulty instrumentation, to wit a cabling problem. Rossi’s ECat is a scam ( and not his first for which he has gone to prison), covered as an example in my ebook The Arts of Truth as one of over a hundred examples. The US company to whom Rossi sold the rights raised mucho dollars in private placements, and then effectively disappeared. Snoball’s chance in hell that the supposed one year 1 MW test, originally announced to take place in the US but now supposedly back in Europe, can succeed. There has never been a proper validation. And at least one of Rossi’s supposed ‘proofs’ of hydrogen plus nickel into copper has been thoroughly refuted by the isotopes involved.

      • I’ve been very skeptical of Rossi myself. I had found out about his prison stint and was suspicious that he wouldn’t reveal how it worked or at least what it was made of.

  20. From the article:

    Today, the Department of Energy is taking a critical step toward the development of a consent-based approach to siting future nuclear waste management facilities as part of a strategy for the long-term storage and disposal of spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste. The launch of our consent-based siting initiative represents an important step toward addressing this nuclear waste management challenge, so that we can continue to benefit from nuclear technologies. Today’s step forward follows Secretary Moniz’s announcement in March 2015 that DOE would move forward with the development of a separate repository for defense waste.

    What is a consent-based siting process, and why is it needed? In short, it is a way to ensure that communities, tribes and states, as partners, are comfortable with the location of future storage and disposal facilities before they are constructed. We will be developing a detailed plan for this process in the coming year, and we need your help.

    http://energy.gov/articles/finding-long-term-solutions-nuclear-waste

  21. Off topic: human jets

    Incredible!

  22. Interesting dueling op-eds in Boston Globe by Dyson and MIT scientists, and then Lindzen has a go at all of them. Linked from here.
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2015/12/26/lindzen-a-recent-exchange-in-the-boston-globe-clearly-illustrated-the-sophistic-nature-of-the-defense-of-global-warming-alarm/

    • Dyson as a self-proclaimed tree-hugger berates environmentalists for being concerned by ecologies being destroyed by climate change, as he himself promotes greening while ignoring the ten-times larger problem of deforestation. His is an odd position for an “environmentalist”. If he wants to insert himself into the environmentalist debate, he should say what he thinks about deforestation.

      • Dyson as a self-proclaimed tree-hugger berates environmentalists for being concerned by ecologies being destroyed by climate change,

        Because there are none.

        It would be one thing if folks said,
        “well, CO2 will lead to warming, and that bears watching.”

        But instead, they have to make things up such as “ecologies being destroyed.”

      • Even if he doesn’t believe ecologies are being destroyed by climate change, at least he should believe that deforestation is destroying them, and say something about that aspect where he might even agree with the environmentalists rather than focusing only on the relatively minor greening aspects of climate change which is all we hear from him. Same with the other “green-is-gooders” like Goklany.

      • JimD, you are quite underinformed. You appear to view the world as black and white just like the deniers you spar with. Dyson believes that engineering the biosphere is the solution to reducing atmospheric CO2. Start out by reading the essay from 2007 below. You can google more of Dyson’s essays and lectures. Also, you will also notice that the talking points that warmists expect you to employ against Dyson are to insinuate dementia and confusion of an old man not up to speed with modern science.
        http://www.nybooks.com/articles/2007/07/19/our-biotech-future/

      • I am pointing out the inconsistency in the plant-food thinkers’ argument. If CO2 is good for plants, deforestation going on currently is ten times as bad, yet they say nothing about that. It almost makes it look like a veiled pro-fossil view rather than any actual concern for the existing environment and plants in particular.

      • It almost makes it look like a veiled pro-fossil view rather than any actual concern for the existing environment and plants in particular.

        Or perhaps they’re looking for debates, and don’t see any real disagreement on the subject of deforestation?

      • From the link provided by Horst G, it now seems that Dyson cares little about real nature and would prefer biology to be genetically engineered in our favor, so perhaps he favors the economically useful monocultures that deforestation produces over preserving the original evolved species there.

      • Jim D: I am pointing out the inconsistency in the plant-food thinkers’ argument. If CO2 is good for plants, deforestation going on currently is ten times as bad, yet they say nothing about that.

        Try that again. If CO2 is good for plants, it does not follow that deforestation is ten times as bad as anything. Personally I favor lots of reforestation and afforestation. But cutting down a tree does not make CO2 ten times as bad for soy beans if CO2 is good for soy beans.

      • It’s his hypocrisy to complain that environmentalists focus on climate change instead of the environment when he himself focuses on CO2 greening rather than deforestation.

      • JimD: What do you do professionally to question the morality of other’s work toward a better world?

      • His vision of kids with genetic engineering kits creating dinosaurs seems a little odd, and I point things like that out. Also, is it moralizing to say where I see his thinking as not completely self consistent. Are we not allowed to critique his written thoughts? There’s a lot there for discussion.

      • Perhaps the starter kit is working with something simple like germs. What could possibly go wrong? Dyson’s vision is horrific in places.

      • Jim D: It’s his hypocrisy to complain that environmentalists focus on climate change instead of the environment when he himself focuses on CO2 greening rather than deforestation.

        Why is that hypocrisy?

      • He is saying environmentalists should not focus about negative aspects of climate change while his whole focus is on his perceived positive aspects of the same.

      • Jim D: Dyson’s vision is horrific in places.

        So quote something he said that you think is horrific. But do quote him if you intend to criticize him.

      • Read his piece. Kids doing genetic experimentation for prizes? Not scary to you? That’s his dreamworld. He thinks differently, for sure.

      • Jim D: Read his piece. Kids doing genetic experimentation for prizes? Not scary to you?

        What I read did not sound “horrific”. In order for me to know what you found “horrific”, and not guess or make things up, I need for you to quote exactly what you found “horrific”. Some people thought that kids experimenting with spirit lamps and sulfur was horrific, and they ganged up on the Gilbert company for its chemistry sets. I certainly would agree that giving high school students awards for their science fair projects on genetic experimentation is worth consideration. As in “The effect of gamma radiation on Man-in-the-Moon marigolds.”

      • How real do think that type of school capability is, first, and if you think it is real, would you support it? Isn’t he just playing around with ideas and not thinking their morality through?

      • “Even if he doesn’t believe ecologies are being destroyed by climate change, at least he should believe that deforestation is destroying them, and say something about that aspect where he might even agree with the environmentalists rather than focusing only on the relatively minor greening aspects of climate change which is all we hear from him. Same with the other “green-is-gooders” like Goklany.”

        Distraction, moving the goal posts, or ad hom? It’s hard to say which you are attempting – presumably whatever works to help you win the argument.

        Did he (Dyson) say that this particular piece was his definitive argument on this and all environmental matters?

        You have made no reference to ocean acidification in these latest attacks on Dyson – is it therefore reasonable for me to assume you believe that ocean acidification is unimportant and argue that you should talk more about it, rather than focusing on deforestation?

        You have made no reference to nuclear power in these recent posts – is it reasonable for me to assume you are pro-nuclear and berate you for supporting an industry that produces waste that is dangerous to all life for 10,000 years (regardless of the veracity of that claim)?

        How about you address what WAS said, rather than what WASN’T said? If you can show that what wasn’t mentioned directly and materially contradicts what was said, then by all means bring it up, but if not then clearly your only purpose in bringing it up is distraction, goal post moving or ad hom.

      • He claims that environmentalists are climate fanatics instead of doing some real good, so I say what about their attempts to stop deforestation. He ignores or forgets that this is one of their largest climate-related efforts.

      • JimD, “He claims that environmentalists are climate fanatics instead of doing some real good, so I say what about their attempts to stop deforestation. He ignores or forgets that this is one of their largest climate-related efforts.”

        They are fanatics. If they weren’t fanatics they would consider how preserving forests and promoting massive bio-fuel initiatives are counter productive. it isn’t that hard to do the math. Same thing with the all natural, all organic fanatics. Sounds great but if you do the math, large scale agriculture, processing and packaging aren’t compatible with family farm scale local production.

        If you throw out lots of great sounding ideas but never consider how to implement them, you aren’t much other than a fanatical dreamer.

      • So, as a tree-hugger is he also a fanatic, or are you making a distinction here?

      • JimD, “So, as a tree-hugger is he also a fanatic, or are you making a distinction here?”

        I would need to research his tree hugginess. There are a few tree huggers that understand forestry management that includes things like selective logging and thinning to control underbrush and wild fires Then there are a few tree huggers that think blaming their lack of knowledge on climate change somehow fixes their ignorance.

    • The MIT alarmist elite goes after Dyson implying that he’s out of date and out of touch. At least they didn’t point out that he is 92 years old.

      Lindzen does a great job of pointing out the sophistic (his word) BS (my word) nature of the defense of global warming alarm.

    • JimD: So you are not working on the problem, got it.

      • …and you don’t have to be working on the problem to understand it. You only need some basic science.

      • Which you clearly don’t have, jim. Just more of you childish strawman arguments. Dyson doesn’t mention deforestation in an argument about CO2 and Climate Change, so he MUST be in favor of it. What’s next? Hanson promotes Nuclear over Renewable, so he MUST be in favor of drowning polar bears since he didn’t mention them. Maybe we all need to start putting an 200 page appendix at the end of every post listing the things we specifically think are bad so Jimmy doesn’t get confused and assume we want them to happen.

        *Schitzree is not in favor of any of the following: Deforestation, Terrorism, Smoking, Driving Slow in the Passing Lane, Cow Tipping, Murder, Rape, Arson, Jaywalking, ect, ect, ect…

      • Dyson is a self-described tree-hugger. You can draw inferences from that term. Perhaps he means something other than being against deforestation?

      • I can also draw inferences from what you say. Obviously your lack of any argument against kicking dogs makes you a horrible dog kicker. Tell me jim, why should I listen to the words of a confirmed dog kicker? Clearly your hatred of all things canine should now become the subject of this thread.

        On the gripping hand, most people would say that your inferences should be based on what someone ACTUALLY said, not on what they didn’t say. A reasonable person might even suspect that not everyone has the time to explicitly define what all they DON’T believe just so a climate troll like you can’t make ridiculous claims about what their position MIGHT be.

        In short, since I know you’re a liar and a coward, you’ll need to QUOTE Dr. Dyson saying he isn’t against deforestation before I’ll believe you. And since he never has, you won’t, and everyone here will see that once again all you have are lies and strawmen.

      • Let’s try using logic.
        Dyson is against climate fanatics.
        Climate fanatics are against deforestation.
        Dyson is against deforestation.
        What does that make Dyson?

      • Ted Cruz provides the answer to this in most recent republican debate:

        All horse thieves are democrats, but not all democrats are horse thieves

      • Judith: I love it! ^¿^

        JIM D: If that was you truly tying to use logic and not just trolling, it would explain much.

      • Jim D,

        You wrote –

        “Dyson is against climate fanatics.
        Climate fanatics are against deforestation.
        Dyson is against deforestation.
        What does that make Dyson?”

        Answer – sensible. I’m surprised you couldn’t work out the answer to such a simple question. Do you often face such difficulty?

        Cheers.

  23. From Brazil: A Nation’s Churning Waterless Storm

    Mr. Antonio Nobre, a leading climate scientist at INPE, Brazil’s National Space Research Institute explained that global warming and deforestation in the Amazon continues to drastically reduce the release of billions of liters of water by rainforest trees, which reduces rainfall further south. In a phone interview conducted on 25 May, 2015, Dr. Augusto Jose Pereira Filho, a professor of atmospheric science at São Paulo University explained that lower than normal temperatures in the lower Southern hemisphere has had the effect of drastically reducing evaporation from the southern Atlantic (the largest source of atmospheric moisture for the region) leading to dry lower atmosphere across Southern Brazil. However, the vexing drought threatens more than water security in Brazil. It also threatens to impact another critical public good – electricity.

    So it’s either global warming and deforestation or lower than normal temperatures.

  24. Observational science, bit of a maverick movement at the best of times, can best be kept balanced by eg slowing the rate of discovery of hydrothermal vents and increasing the rate of discovery of methane leaks. Perhaps one could tax the discovery of vents and use the money to incentivize, as we say in policy circles, the discovery of methane leaks. And guess who will have their rate of publication incentivized?

    Also, we could penalise discussion of sea level rise prior to the 20th century and use the penalty money to encourage discussion of recent rises. There’s so much one can do by way of creative market solutions. (Once again, publication incentivization will be a key tool of the market, which is always right when made to be right.)

    Of course, you don’t want too many sciency people out and about observing and getting wet feet. We’ll find a creative solution for that. Perhaps one could confine access to certain remote regions to activists and celebs. Di Caprio et al can cover the Arctic, James Cameron et al can do the deep hydrosphere. Ice Whisperer Turney et al can cover the Antarctic.

    As for cloud and climate, perhaps a well placed study describing the spinal injuries due to looking up too often? Remember, cloud shuts down the whole bloody game if we let it.

    I’m a volcano of ideas today! Sorry, I mean I’m a methane leak of ideas today.

    ATTC

    • mosomoso,

      You best take care that your brain doesn’t explode.

      If I may make a modest contribution, climatologists could be restrained from interfering with the scientific process quite simply. They could be made to spend their time writing papers about each others’ papers, and reviewing same.

      Generating amateurish computer programs with pre ordained outcomes, consuming vast amounts of computing power, with no noticeable useful outcomes, would keep them occupied.

      Any amateur scientists could be brainwashed into endless re examination of pointless historical temperature records. This would ensure that no actual scientific investigation of anything useful could possibly occur.

      All in all, I feel this would go some way to creating a balance for real science, thus ensuring karmic equilibrium, and the cosmic balance of the yin and the yang (not to mention the yoni and the lingam).

      I know it’s likely to be a hard row to hoe, but I’m sure climatologists would be prepared to take one for the team.

      Cheers.

      • And they could be kept updated on the outside world by viewing disaster movies, Cameron or Emmerich, whichever is cheesiest with most negative reinforcement. (Free subscriptions/access to Guardian, HuffPo, WaPo, Science etc, needless to say.)

        Or we could just make a rule that to be a climate scientist you need to be a computer literate female working only out of Riyadh. Should concentrate the mind wonderfully.

  25. Here’s a bit of good news for the Rule of Law, from the article:

    The Department of Justice announced this week that it’s suspending a controversial program that allows local police departments to keep a large portion of assets seized from citizens under federal law and funnel it into their own coffers.

    The “equitable-sharing” program gives police the option of prosecuting asset forfeiture cases under federal instead of state law. Federal forfeiture policies are more permissive than many state policies, allowing police to keep up to 80 percent of assets they seize — even if the people they took from are never charged with a crime.

    The DOJ is suspending payments under this program due to budget cuts included in the recent spending bill.

    “While we had hoped to minimize any adverse impact on state, local, and tribal law enforcement partners, the Department is deferring for the time being any equitable sharing payments from the Program,” M. Kendall Day, chief of the asset forfeiture and money laundering section, wrote in a letter to state and local law enforcement agencies.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2015/12/23/the-feds-just-shut-down-a-huge-program-that-lets-cops-take-your-stuff-and-keep-it/

  26. I noticed a reference by another commenter to satellite altimetry, and a supposed accuracy of MSL +/- 0.4 mm. I have no argument with the commenter, but I wonder if people realise what 0.1 mm looks like? A human hair can be around half to twice 0.1 mm.

    Measuring the average sea level around the globe to within the thickness of eight human hairs seems a mite difficult. But some really sciencey types go even further, and give figures purporting to show MSL measurements to 0.01 mm, or less than half the thickness of a fine human hair.

    This might be seen as an example of the incredible accuracy demanded by climatologists, but unfortunately even using sciencey terms like “satellite altimetry” cannot overcome basic laws of physics.

    Without going into the minutiae of the reasons, the following quote from a US higher education facility, gives some flavour of the reality of satellite altimetry –

    “Now we see that our original plan of having a very narrow pulse of 60 picoseconds to resolve 0.02 m height variations was doomed because the ocean surface is usually rough; a 3 ns pulse is all that could be resolved anyway. But how do we achieve the 0.02 m resolution needed for our applications when typically we can only resolve 1.2 m? The way to improve the accuracy by a factor of 10^2 is to average 10^4 measurements and hope the noise is completely random.”

    The 0.02 m (20 mm) accuracy is apparently demanded by climatologists. Other branches of science accept reality.

    Even so, to get to 20 mm accuracy (nowhere near 1 mm, let alone 0.1 mm), note that an average of a large number of observations is taken, and then one must “hope the noise is completely random.”

    Just for interest, bear in mind that the satellite’s ground track is about 7000 metres/minute, ionospheric delay corrections can actually worsen noise, and it turns out that noise of this type is chaotic, which is not the same as completely random.

    I haven’t even mentioned the limitations imposed by the speed of light, as climatological physics seems to deny such inconvenient realities.

    Ain’t science grand?

    Cheers.

      • Arch Stanton,

        Many thanks for a wonderful reference. I commend it to anyone who believes in global warming, on the basis of climatological sciencey nonsense. They might learn some reality.

        I really like the description of using a microwave oven and a marshmallow to calculate the speed of light. I believe in the real world, (as opposed to the fantasy world of climatologists), this would be called an experiment.

        Maybe climatologists could use their watermelon sized brains to work with extremely expensive equipment to calculate the heating properties of CO2! Only joking, of course. There aren’t any!

        Light. Wonderful stuff. As Richard Feynman said (from memory), the interaction between photons and electrons explains everything in the physical world apart from gravity and radioactivity (nuclear processes). So far, I’m inclined to Feynman’s view. Pretty simple.

        Three actions explain everything –

        A photon goes from place to place.
        An electron goes from place to place.
        An electron absorbs or emits a photon.

        Feynman, Tomonaga and Schwimmer received a Nobel Prize for fundamental work leading to this conclusion. How’s that for an appeal to authority? As good as Michael Mann’s non-Nobel Prize?

        Cheers.

      • Father, Son, Holy Spirit. Sort of.

    • Mike Flynn,

      Measuring the average sea level around the globe to within the thickness of eight human hairs seems a mite difficult. But some really sciencey types go even further, and give figures purporting to show MSL measurements to 0.01 mm, or less than half the thickness of a fine human hair.

      Party pooper! What are you trying to do? damage the 1.5 trillion per year ‘Climate Industry’?

  27. Here’s a good one:

  28. The article ‘Batteries Gaining Favor Over Gas Peaker Plants in Californiahttp://www.renewableenergyworld.com/articles/2015/12/batteries-gaining-favor-over-gas-peaker-plants-in-california.html by By Brian Eckhouse of Bloomberg is rubbish. The author is ignorant. He doesn’t even understand the difference between power and energy. Examples:

    • “Southern California Edison has contracts for more than 275 MW of storage capacity …”

    • “Regulators have asked California’s three biggest utilities to line up 1.3 GW of storage capacity …”

    • “Southern California Edison solicited its first storage deals later that year, seeking about 50 GW of capacity. …”

    And nowhere do they state the important statistic – i.e. the cost per GWh of energy storage capacity. All these chemical storage systems have trivial energy storage capacity compared with the TWh of storage that would be required to enable weather dependent renewables to be able to meet requirements. They are an order of magnitude more expensive than pumped hydro and pumped hydro is not viable with weather dependent renewables.

    Readers of this nonsense need to use a BS meter.

    • Curious George

      The battery capacity is specified in megawatts in California law. There is nothing like California!

    • I also like this bit:

      “The cheapest proposals indicate that developers expect costs to fall by the time the projects are expected to go into service.”

      If costs do not fall enough will those bidders simply close their doors a la Solyndra when the time comes to deliver on their contracts? If that happens look for a grid stability crises, and funny things tend to happen with taxpayer money whenever there is a crises.

  29. Waste heat to power – and the Second Law of thermodynamics be damned!

    Extreme weather poses increasing threat to US power grid – Persecution of energy companies poses increasing threat to US power grid.

    Attribution of extreme weather and climate-related events – misses words ” in the computer models”.

    Study Reveals Amazing Surge in Scientific Hype – old news. In 1981, when Hansen was promoting his paper in New York Times, such self promotion was still unethical.

    Spiegel On Offshore Wind Parks: “Does Not Fulfill The Hopes Of Reliable Energy”! – There were no grounds for such hopes. Possibly, somebody understood that and were intentionally creating illusion of alternative energy to undermine real energy industries.

  30. Interesting insights in the article about Einstein –e.g.,

    “Moreover, as modern science has become increasingly institutionalized, it has started to resemble a guild that values self-promotion above truth and the common good.”

  31. /humour on

    It’s worse than we thought.

    The port city of Thonis-Heracleion has been submerged by rising sea levels due to global warming.

    According to a recent report –

    “Submerged under 150 feet of water, the site sits in what is now the Bay of Aboukir. In the 8th Century BC, when the city is thought to have been built, it would have sat at the mouth of the River Nile delta as it opened up into the Mediterranean.”

    150 feet is considerably more than a few human hairs, even end to end!

    Quick, run for the hills! London or New York may be next!

    Cheers.

    /humour off

  32. I suppose most CE regulars have seen this video (I hadn’t, until today)

    “Here’s a 5-minute, down to earth, video on climate change from an unlikely source. No politics or emotional baggage. ”
    https://www.prageru.com/courses/environmental-science/what-they-havent-told-you-about-climate-change#.Vc4sj_lViko

    It explains the relevant facts. It should give pause for consideration for some of the true deniers posting here – the deniers of the relevant facts.

      • How is that chart relevant to policy analysis Jim D?

      • It’s relevant to what the guy in the video said. No warming since 2000? Really? They need to deal with reality.

      • Jim D,

        No. Relevant facts like this –

        “. . .every time Wales win the rugby grand slam, a Pope dies, except for 1978 when Wales were really good, and two Popes died.”

        Maybe burning lots of fossils fuel creates heat – which is recorded as increased temperature. Maybe burning lots of fossil fuel creates lots of CO2.

        What do you think?

        Cheers.

      • Jim D,

        You misquoted/misrepresented, again, as you commonly do.

      • You mentioned “relevant facts”. I mentioned relevant facts and showed some in direct contradiction to what the guy said. Completely on-topic.

      • Jim D,

        You mentioned “relevant facts”. I mentioned relevant facts and showed some in direct contradiction to what the guy said. Completely on-topic.

        Wrong, wrong and wrong.

        Wrong 1: No, I said ‘policy relevant facts!. I asked you what is po9liokcy relevabnt about your chart. You haven’t answered. The fact you didn’t answer the question I asked suggests either you don’t understand what is policy relevant or you are dodging it – i.e. a sigh of intellectual dishonesty.

        Wrong 2: You didn’t mention policy relevant facts.

        Wrong 3: you didn’t show anything in direct convention of what he said. You misrepresented or lied about what he’d said

        Not on topic because you were responding to my direct question and didn’t answer it. You dodged. A sign of intellectual dishonesty.

      • JImD

        Why start at 1950? If you go back to the start of the previous warming period it looks like this

        http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/gistemp/from:1900/mean:12/plot/esrl-co2/scale:0.01/offset:-3.25

        That sort of effect is pretty much what we can observe back to 1700.The warming started way before man could have had a practical impact and of course we miss out on the ups and down that led to the MWP, Roman, Minoan and Holocene optimum.

        tonyb

      • tony, 75% of the CO2 addition and 75% of the warming have occurred since 1950. This is the period when the signal emerged from the noise and the CO2 forcing changed by 250%.

      • http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/gistemp/from:1950/mean:12/plot/esrl-co2/scale:0.01/offset:-3.25/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1950/mean:12/plot/uah/mean:12/offset:0.25/plot/rss/mean:12/offset:0.25

        Isn’t it amazing that the most heavily ‘adjusted’ temperature series just happens to follow in lock step with the CO2. Almost like the people making it knew in advance what the ‘right’ answer would be. Of course, every time it starts to slip down away from what the climatist know the right temperature is we get another ‘adjustment’.

        I can easily predict what temperature GISS will show in twenty years. Now what temperature we ACTUALLY get, that’s somewhat harder.

      • You can look at BEST land too. It rises even faster than GISTEMP global. Prefer that?

      • Prefer a land only temp series from an outfit even more dodgy and dishonest then NASA GISS? Sure, let’s go with that. Or even better, since climate science is settled, whey don’t we just skip the whole measuring the temperature thing all together and just make a computer model that gives a proxy temp based on the CO2 level.

        Assuming that’s not what GISS is giving us already.

    • Jim D,

      I asked “How is the chart relevant to policy analysis?”

      You didn’t answer the question I asked.

      • You start by not getting the facts wrong about the last 15 years. If the guy can’t even see that it has warmed, he is a non-starter on any follow-up questions.

      • First, you misquoted, misrepresented what he said, as usual, as you commonly do.

        You also know, full well who “the guy in the video” bat can;t acknowedge it. right? More of your continual intellectual dishonesty.

        And you still haven’t said what is policy relevant about the chart …. waiting!

        Perhaps you don’t understand what policy relevant means?

      • You started the whole intro by saying no politics, and so it was. He was just talking about climate. I kept it to that, and now you are complaining that I didn’t bring politics into it. Sheesh.

      • More dishonesty. Please quote where I complained you didn’t bring policits into it.

        What I complained about is your intelectual dishonesty. You dodged the question I asked and are still doing so. You raised a strawman, and irrelevant chart.

      • You tried to shift it to policy after I said he got his facts wrong rather than address what I said. I did not bite on the misdirect.

      • Jim D,

        You started the whole intro by saying no politics, and so it was. He was just talking about climate. I kept it to that, and now you are complaining that I didn’t bring politics into it. Sheesh.

        Sheesh yourself. It’s you that applies to. It’s you that’s being dishonest, repetitively.

        Please quote where I mentioned politics or brought politics into it.

      • Trace it yourself. The video wasn’t about policy and my reply wasn’t about policy, but it was about something wrong said in the video. Then it went off-track into policy when you replied.

      • Jim D,

        I posted the link to the video and said it explains the relevant facts – i.e. policy relevant facts since they are the only facts that are relevant for fixing the perceived problem, as we’ve discussed many, many times previously. You posted the chart. I asked you how your chart is policy relevant. Instead of trying to explain why you believe it is policy relevant you dodged and lied. You misrepresented what “the guy in the video” said and used a strawman argument to avoid addressing the question I asked. You avoid acknowledging “who the guy in the video” is.

        You repeatedly show your lack of integrity, not just intellectual honesty but personal integrity too.

        You haven’t answered these questions:

        1. How is the chart you posted chart relevant to policy analysis Jim D?

        2. Please quote where I mentioned politics or brought politics into it.

        3. You also know, full well, who “the guy in the video” is but can’t you don’t want to acknowledge it, right?

        And please correct your misrepresentation of what “the guy in the video” said, without being devious and without avoiding correcting what you dishonestly said.

        And state his name instead of calling him “the guy in the video.

        You need to deal with what’s relevant for policy analysis, not keep yapping about irrelevancies. And dodging and weaving. And avoiding straight questions as a tactic. You need to stop misrepresenting what others say, as you admitted you did intentionally in this case.

        You display intellectual dishonesty so frequently it suggests a habitual liar.

      • As I have said, he got the “relevant facts” wrong. It has warmed in the last 15 years, and not by a little, and my chart showed it. Which relevant fact did you have in mind, as I can’t read your mind?

      • He did not get the relevant facts wrong. You are wrong.

        First, your chart is not relevant for policy analysis, therefore it is irrelevant. It may have interest cor alarmists down in the weeds, but is not relevant for policy analysis and only facts that are relevant for making policy decisions are relevant for solving the perceived problem.

        Second, you misquoted and misrepresented “the guy in the video” as you call him.

        You lied intially and have continued to dodge admitting it. Clearly, integrity and honesty are irrelevant to you and other CAGW alarmists

      • Listen to what he is saying. He is saying CO2 has no effect on warming. He says it has warmed for 300 years so it can’t be humans. It hasn’t warmed recently, so it can’t be CO2, etc. He is a typical denialist of the entire CO2 effect, and you endorse it. Until these people accept a warming effect they will remain policy irrelevant.

      • Jim D,

        You are dodging again. You said he said “no warming since 200”

        That’s not what he said. You liked. Correct your misquote without trying to divert the discussion elsewhere. You misquoted him and based everything since on that. You lied. Stop lying.

      • Watch the video again. He has not admitted to any warming by humans even over the last 300 years. Do you agree with that or not?

      • Jim you lied. You continue to lie and misrepresent what he said. Retract your first lie first and correct your misquote/misrepresentation before raising others. And apologise for this reprehensible dishonesty you are displaying.

      • Just watch the video, and draw your conclusions from that. The graphic I posted shows that he is plain wrong about the 21st century too. It has warmed and not been flat. He even thinks there is a chance the temperature may go down again. It is complete denial, more of the dragonslayer type than WUWT or Heartland.

      • Jim D,

        I watched the video. I know what he said. You misquoted him. The fact you haven’t corrected your misquote, demonstrates you are dishonest. It was a lie, not a mistake. Everything since has been compounding the dishonesty. We are not moving on until you correct the misquote and state what he actually said (it’s up on the display), and apologise for your attempted deceit.

        All this displays again, that you are dishonest and nothing you say on any subject can be accepted and honest.

        You also need to acknowledge that your chart is not policy relevant or explain how it is policy relevant.

      • He said the temperature has remained flat for the 21st century or the last 20 years on three occasions in the video. That is what I corrected. If you want to base your policy implications on inaccurate statements like that, that is your problem not mine. I stop at factual errors like that.

      • He said the temperature has remained flat for the 21st century or the last 20 years on three occasions in the video.

        No he didn’t. You left out a key word.

        What he said is that it’s been essentially flat. Which it has. Any apparent rise during that period is small compared to the error margins.

      • Not even “essentially” flat. The decadal trend has been 0.14 C per decade when you take the last 20 years as two 10-year-mean periods. That’s more like the long-term trend than flat.

      • Not even “essentially” flat.

        Yeah it is. Considering the range of possible trends, both up and down that could fit withing statistical significance.

        The decadal trend has been 0.14 C per decade when you take the last 20 years as two 10-year-mean periods.

        Sure. By cherry-picking your method and endpoints, you can find an “analysis” that shows a slope.

        That’s more like the long-term trend than flat.

        You know 10-20 years is too short for a “long-term trend

      • Indeed. The 30-year trend is much more robust, varying within 10% of 0.17 C/decade over the last few decades including the whole so-called pause, but the skeptics never want to talk about that. Conversely, the 15-year trend is all over the place, and just 15 years ago was twice the 30-year trend.

      • The 30-year trend is much more robust, varying within 10% of 0.17 C/decade over the last few decades including the whole so-called pause, […]

        But what happens if you extend it back a century and a half? Then it wanders, including into rates similar to the last few decades. But without the anthropogenic CO2

        […] but the skeptics never want to talk about that.

        Never talk about the earlier warming last century? ru4real?

        Conversely, the 15-year trend is all over the place, and just 15 years ago was twice the 30-year trend.

        Yup. That sort of demonstrates a lack of warming from CO2 on that time-scale, doesn’t it?

      • He didn’t get the facts wrong. You misquoted him.

      • Well these presentation of UAH says that the odds of going up are pretty well the same as it going down.

        https://climatedatablog.wordpress.com/2015/12/21/moved-to-dropbox/

      • He didn’t get the facts wrong. You misquoted him.

        Yes, he did misquote him. Patrick Moore that is. Co-founder of Greenpeace, who broke with them over their obvious dishonesty.

        But telling Jim D over and over again that he misquoted Patrick Moore without explaining how also seems a little dishonest, IMO.

        Let me correct that…

        What Patrick Moore said is that there’s been no significant warming since 2000. The WoodForTrees graph is completely consistent with that statement, although it isn’t obvious because it doesn’t show the high error margins.

        It’s fully consistent with essentially flat “global average temperature” except for two short step jumps around 1977 and 1997.

        It’s also fully consistent with a general warming trend from 1950 to present overlaid with short-term variation from other causes.

        While it doesn’t go back farther than 1950, one that did would show itself fully consistent with a long-term warming trend from 1850 to present, overlaid with short-term variation.

        It could be any of those. Or none. We don’t know! Which was Patrick Moore’s point.

        The relevance for policy is obvious: CO2 may be causing some amount of warming on a (roughly) 30-year scale, overlaid with shorter-term variation. Or it may not.

        The policy question is what’s to be done about the risk.

      • AK, what about his statement that the last 300 years of warming isn’t due to humans. Denialist or just misunderstood. Judith made an almost identical statement to the Senate committee that a journalist reported as “it’s not humans” and Mann picked up on in his op-ed, but I think she meant “not all due to humans” and the statement just came out wrong.

      • AK, what about his statement that the last 300 years of warming isn’t due to humans.

        You didn’t listen to what he said: he was clearly referring to the “gradual 300-year warming to the present day.

      • …and he lumped this whole period in with others like the MWP as not being due to humans, missing that this period has had a human influence, even as many other skeptics agree. I get the impression from this video that Moore denies any CO2 influence at all. Don’t you?

      • I get the impression from this video that Moore denies any CO2 influence at all. Don’t you?

        Nope. My impression is that he’s saying there’s no proof of CO2 influence. Which is true. Your outcome will depend on your priors.

      • I get the impression from this video that Moore denies any CO2 influence at all. Don’t you?

        That’s an argumentative trap.

        But there is a matter of perspective of how significant, or more aptly, how insignificant warming is.

        It is not so strong, nor rapid that lulls don’t occur.

        And there may be the long five century warming trend ( indicated by bore holes ) but the coldest North American winter on record was 1979.

        I write this as last night’s snow storm brought down trees and took out power.

        I was pretty happy, after a night without power or heat, to have the electric company on patrol – I wasn’t too concerned about the source of the power.

      • My impression is that he’s saying there’s no proof of CO2 influence. Which is true. Your outcome will depend on your priors.

        I thought everyone accepted that CO2 emissions (greenhouse gases) will warm the earth.

      • I thought everyone accepted that CO2 emissions (greenhouse gases) will warm the earth.

        Nope. What’s generally accepted is that the greenhouse effect will tend to warm the earth, all else remaining equal.

        Which, however, it doesn’t. And the nature, extent, and consequences of that not remaining equal are all very complex. Nobody really knows more for certain.

      • You said:

        My impression is that he’s saying there’s no proof of CO2 influence.

        If you accept the greenhouse effect,wouldn’t you have to accept that CO2 emissions are having an influence on temperatures?

      • Jim D: I get the impression from this video that Moore denies any CO2 influence at all. Don’t you?

        Your impressions are generally unreliable. You ought to present complete exact quotes. For discussion, it is best to go with direct, complete quotes [perhaps with small changes that don’t change meaning in square brackets.]

      • MM, you can watch the Moore video and look for even a slight acknowledgment of a CO2 effect. I am just saying I couldn’t find one and there was more to imply the opposite. Perhaps you can and then quote it.

      • I am just saying I couldn’t find one and there was more to imply the opposite. Perhaps you can and then quote it.

        At 1:23:

        So then, what about carbon dioxide, the great villain of the global warming alarmists?

        Where does that fit into this picture?

        Not as neatly as you might think.

        1:59:

        But we do know that there are many more factors in play than simply the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere.

        This is hardly denying an effect for CO2, just asserting that many other factors have effects of similar importance. Which is true.

      • So when he says rather emphatically at 40 seconds into it, no human cause in the last 300 years, what is he implying by that? He equates this to warm periods with no emissions as though they have an equivalence in his mind.

      • So when he says rather emphatically at 40 seconds into it, no human cause in the last 300 years, what is he implying by that?

        We’ve been over this.

        You didn’t listen to what he said: he was clearly referring to the “gradual 300-year warming to the present day.”

        I don’t understand how you can expect to even get sensible people to listen to you about science, much less really understand it (yourself).

        You seem to have no sense of precision regarding what people are saying.

      • How do you distinguish the “gradual 300 year warming” from the fast 100-year or even faster 50-year warming, if at all? Perhaps I am missing that piece of your argument.

      • How do you distinguish the “gradual 300 year warming” from the fast 100-year or even faster 50-year warming, if at all?

        I think you can ignore the former. Didn’t happen, and wouldn’t correlate with CO2 if it did.

        But I can certainly imagine a 30-50 year tilt at the end of that “gradual 300-year warming to the present day” that should be considered separately from the whole thing. That’s about an order of magnitude difference in time-scale.

        Saying the “gradual 300-year warming to the present day” wasn’t caused by humans (emitting fossil CO2) would certainly be independent of any question about the last little uptilt, if any.

        IMO.

      • So you seem to be saying when he talks about a 300-year warming, he probably ignores the 75% of it that occurred in the last 20% of that time and maybe would prefer not to mention the recent acceleration at all because it doesn’t quite fit in with the rest of what he is saying.

      • […] he probably ignores the 75% of it that occurred in the last 20% of that time […]

        More like half. And part of that would appear to be an extension of the previous 300-year trend.

        [… A]nd maybe would prefer not to mention the recent acceleration at all because it doesn’t quite fit in with the rest of what he is saying.

        Actually, it fits quite well. Which is that we don’t know how much of the last few decade’s worth of warming was actually due to CO2. Maybe none. Possibly all. More likely, somewhere in-between. Look at the rise from 1910-1940. Pretty much the same slope.

        Not to mention that the entire curve is consistent with a sine-wave shaped return from the LIA.

      • We just crossed 1 degree above pre-industrial according to the UK scientists, and it has warmed about 0.75 C since 1950, so that is where I get my number from, and this is global, not just land like your graphics. Plus the 30-year trend shows no sign of slowing as we continue upwards on that gradient. This is all a long way from what Moore described to his followers as effectively a gradual 300-year non-anthropogenic rise.

      • What’s generally accepted is that the greenhouse effect will tend to warm the earth, all else remaining equal.

        Which, however, it doesn’t. And the nature, extent, and consequences of that not remaining equal are all very complex. Nobody really knows more for certain.

        I’d agree with all of the above.

        However, I sought to enumerate some of the more obvious ways Other Than Surface Warming that would reverse the imbalance imposed by additional GHGs.

        Those included:

        * warming the upper troposphere but not the surface
        * lowering the ‘top of the water vapor’ without reducing water vapor
        * changing the fraction of a cloud layer at 700millibars
        * lowering the top of the cloud layer

        Increasing cloud albedo is not tested but would be another process.

        While all of those are demonstrably possible, I’m not sure they’re likely.

        The first process, warming the upper troposphere, is the negative feedback from the ‘Hot Spot’, but that doesn’t seem to be happening.

        Interesting, though, is changing the ‘top-of-the-water-vapour’, which the many times changed instrumentation from the sonde data does indicate.

      • In Jim D’s world, it seems that the climate is extremely sensitive to semantics

      • TE, it is a moot question because the continuous rise of the global ocean heat content over the decades we have had those measurements, show that a positive imbalance has prevailed.

      • Increasing cloud albedo is not tested but would be another process.

        If by “[i]ncreasing cloud albedo” you mean increasing overall global albedo due to more clouds, I’d guess that’s the elephant in the room.

        I don’t see any reason to suppose that cloud cover is a direct function of greenhouse “forcing” or “global average temperature.”. The latter doesn’t actually do anything in the real world (no matter what it does in some simplistic models).

        Where local effects of increased GHG’s add to temperatures, they may or may not produce increased evaporation (which would act as a local negative feedback). But increased downwelling IR from GHG’s could easily produce increased evaporation without more that a tiny increase in temperature, and that localized to the skin layer of the ocean.

        Interestingly, under some conditions, increased cloudiness can also produce an increase in downwelling IR, and if increased evaporation results from it, the end product could be a positive feedback reaction that increases the albedo, while also increasing evaporation, lowering overall heating, and generally producing a 10-fold (1000%) or more negative feedback in heat absorption against increased IR from GHG’s.

        All this on a local scale. The magnitude and extent of such feedbacks are pretty much unknown, of course. They may well be trivial. They may be very important.

      • jimd

        No reasonable person could think the modern record extraordinary when looking at the warming from a low of 1690 to the heights of 1740

        This wide spread warming attracted the interest of numerous scientists including Lamb and, most recently Phil Jones, who write of it in 2006.

        tonyb

      • Jim D: MM, you can watch the Moore video and look for even a slight acknowledgment of a CO2 effect. I am just saying I couldn’t find one and there was more to imply the opposite. Perhaps you can and then quote it.

        Peter Lang posted a transcript down below. It does not support your impression.

      • There’s this assertion as one example “And, most recently, a gradual 300-year warming to the present day. That’s a lot of changes. And, of course, not one of them was caused by humans.” He looks pretty sure of himself there.

  33. I find this appealing. I bet the rich boys that run the internet don’t. From the article:

    Last month, Taylor and more than 1,000 activists, scholars and techies gathered at the New School in New York City for a conference to talk about reinventing the Internet. They dream of a co-op model: people dealing directly with one another without having to go through a data-sucking corporate hub.

    “The powerful definitely do not want us to reboot things, and they will go to great lengths to stop us, and they will use brute force or they will use bureaucracy,” Taylor warned the conferees at the close of the two-day session.

    Jaron Lanier, the dean of the digital dissenters, is also a musician, composer and pioneer of virtual-reality headsets. What he is most famous for is his criticism of the computer culture he helped create. (Nick Otto/For The Washington Post)
    We need a movement, she said, “that says no to the existing order.”
    The dissenters have no easy task. We’re in a new Machine Age. Machine intelligence and digital social networks are now embedded in the basic infrastructure of the developed world.

    Much of this is objectively good and pleasurable and empowering. We tend to like our devices, our social media, our computer games. We like our connectivity. We like being able to know nearly anything and everything, or shop impulsively, by typing a few words into a search engine.

    But there’s this shadow narrative being written at the same time. It’s a passionate, if still remarkably disorganized, resistance to the digital establishment.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/classic-apps/techno-skeptics-objection-growing-louder/2015/12/26/e83cf658-617a-11e5-8e9e-dce8a2a2a679_story.html

    • And who will pay for all those server farms? And all the cables? And the software? Sounds like another Occupy Wall Street that wants stuff for free. Revolutionaries who can’t even change their own oil. Very appropriate at Christmas time.

    • Computing has a different quality control system in place to Acedemia.

      We use RFC and API.

      Computing is one area of science where a paper where the probability that any paper you write or thesis you present is more likely than not to be out of date by the time you publish it.

  34. Geoff Sherrington

    The soil carbon paper with the cast of thousands.
    Is there really much to be gained or lost with engineering of such carbon? Nature, left alone, determines the concentrations and forms of soil carbon compounds.
    Eventually, if engineering creates excesses, such excesses become CO2 in the course of a small or a long time, depending on composition and excepting diamond. If CO2 in the atmosphere is regarded as a bad, then only a temporary change seems really possible through engineering, unless it is hideously expensive in creating some captured stability as Nature did for coal and oil and gas.
    Geoff.

  35. Excellent takedown of Oreskes. Nuclear supporters should be happy to see that kind of article in left leaning Huff Po.Maybe Peter Lang doesn’t have to clone himself after all :-)

  36. I’m reliably informed about a big announcement by ANSTO early in 2016 regarding Synroc, the product that will revolutionise nuclear waste storage.
    http://www.ansto.gov.au/AboutANSTO/MediaCentre/News/ACS049098

    That will certainly make the nuclear power option more palatable for some.

  37. Professor Curry,

    It looks as if Prof. Sonia Kreidenweis is in the precise spot to detail the exact effect of any anthropogenic alteration of oceanic aerosol production on cloud cover. If anyone is in contact, could you please ask her to look at the result of light oil and/or synthetic surfactant and/or plankton surface smoothing agents on aerosols.

    In 2012 I saw a huge smooth north east of Madeira which covered thousands of square miles, with wave breaking suppressed up to force 4 winds. Cloud cover was greatly reduced, perhaps because of a paucity of aerosols. I will spare you the long hand wave about the effects of pollution smoothing on ocean warming as you have heard it all before.

    There was a recent paper on surface pollution up in the Baltic, which would tie in nicely — I have no idea what caused the Madeira smooth and it would be nice to know what exactly is altering the ocean-atmosphere boundary layer.

    Rgds

    JF

    • Good point but the issue is reduced cloud condensation neucli and increased surface albedo south of 20N on the African continent meaning fewer easterly wave formations drifting west across the Atlantic allowing for an additional 85w or 2kwh/m2/day. Given spec heat capacity of sea water at 3993jkg^C this is more than enough heat energy to power GW since mid 1960s.

    • I will spare you the long hand wave about the effects of pollution smoothing on ocean warming as you have heard it all before.

      Sounds like scapegoating to me. What about the (probably, IMO) much larger effect of changes in natural surfactants?

      • Plankton are natural. Would that cover your point? That’s why I mentioned them. There have been conflicting reports on what is happening to plankton, from ‘huge blooms, we’re all doomed’ to ‘plankton numbers plummet, we’re all doomed’. Let me repeat, I’d really like to know what caused the huge smooth near Madeira,

        Assuming that any suggestion involving possible human input to the problem is ‘scapegoating’ is not sensible — one thinks of all the reasons one can and then looks to see if any of those reasons are right.

        Oddly enough the area concerned is part of a gyre with the current involved originating near North America. Surely it can’t be polluted run-off from land, not after weeks in transit? Dunno.

        JF

  38. “Heterogeneous communities restrain group excesses; homogeneous communities march toward the extremes.” [link]

    Great article based on evolutionary fundamentals. Binary polarization is in fact better than wholly homogeneous (a mono-culture), yet in the extreme will occupy far too much of society’s time with a fight against ‘the other’, and can ultimately result in highly damaging conflict. The recognition that not all issues have a left-right political origin would be useful, and climate change is a case is point. Despite a strong alliance with Lib / Dems in the US (and therefore much opposition from Rep / Cons), the global culture based on a certainty of climate calamity stands independently of either left or right.

  39. Accidental geoengineering – the big news comes from Stockholm uni (04 dec 2015): human effects upon atmospheric H2O in the region of 10,000 km2 pa. OR 280 times the human effect upon atmospheric COO. Now if anyone wants to direct their attention to anthropogenic global warming it might be useful if they were to query the effects of the net reduction in this H2O factor. Call me dull and boring but reduction in the cloud mass means it gets sunnier – the oceans get warmer. End of sermon.

  40. Each week there is so much (1) negativity; (2) creation of absurd strawmen; and (3) hypocrisy by many of the most vocal folks here at CE.

    Dr. Curry spends a tremendous amount of time and effort addressing the how much, and how fast question with TCR. The vast majority of vocal CE Denizens sing Dr. Curry’s praise when she is critical of the IPCC. Yet, many of these same people argue that the only cost effective way to address IPCC CAGW projections is through nuclear power.

    Also, most often the anti-renewable energy crowd here at CE want to create a strawman that the only meaningful way to address AGW and CAGW (which on one hand they don’t believe in) is through energy options.

    But post COP21, we can see numerous potential “no or low regrets” policy avenues (a holistic approach) being discussed — several of which, Dr. Curry has specifically spoken favorably about:

    If I had to pick “the one thing that irks me the most here at CE it’s the lack of discussion on advanced combined cycle natural gas technology and how:

    (1) Existing older coal and nuclear often can not compete against it either on an economic dispatch or capacity auction (i.e., Entergy).

    (2) Because of its flexibility, can be very compatible with Renewable Energy technologies (up to appropriate penetration levesl) — and yes, from an engineering economics basis can represent the lowest cost path on an integrated grid.

    Interesting in how the “Duck Curve” was used extensively here at CE to bash Renewables — when it was the California System Operator who basically invented the phrase to illustrate the need for flexible NG combined cycle units. Never a peep about this here at CE.

    People who keep on making the intermittent argument (the sun doesn’t shine at night) sure don’t understand how integrated grid electricity planning is done (especially when solar power has a penetration level currently at ~one half on one percent).

    • People should look at this chart just released this week — illustrating what solar and off-shore wind can be competing against for peaking load:

      http://www.eia.gov/electricity/monthly/epm_table_grapher.cfm?t=epmt_6_07_a

    • matthewmarler Le’s see how you answer a question. The only info you have is (1) the negative wind story you provided; (2) my EIA link on very low capacity factors that are often associated with simple combustion turbines.

      Lets throw in that off-shore wind is often associated with peaking load — so, lets assume this.

      OK, now the question: Did the Utility make a bad decision in choosing wind for its peaking load rather than simple NG combustion turbines?

      Yes? No? or you don’t have enough information?

      • matthewmarler — Of course, the answer to my silly strawman question is — we really don’t have enough information.

        Also on you comment on NGCC being opposed by CO2 Opponents — aren’t you doing an “Oreskes”? For example, more CCNG units are being purchased for California than any other State (last I checked, with Florida 2nd). I’m sure you can find extreme positions on almost anything, no?

      • Curious George

        Stephen – I am not really sure what the EIA table means. I am making an assumption that the numbers mean an average time the resource was used, e.g. the 4.9% for Natural Gas Fired Combustion Turbine in 2013 means that such turbines were used on average 70 minutes a day – probably to satisfy a demand; my second assumption is that the demand was a peaking load.

        Until we command wind and rain (a Communist dream) it seems difficult to satisfy a peaking load with wind energy. There is a story in the Bible about a guy who did stop the sun (mentioning his name would land me in moderation, so I won’t), so solar energy does not fill the bill either.

        Could you please provide details about a utility which chose wind for its peaking load?

      • Curious George — One thing that Dr. Curry talks about a lot is polarization (black/white positions). This applies to engineering decisions within integrated resource planning also.

        As I’ve stated many times before (as an example) — Maybe in Mississippi the appropriate penetration of Renewables is only 1%. In the Northeast that has a shiny new fleet of flexible NG combined cycle units, access to Canadian hydro, and where off-shore wind blows during peaking periods, maybe the penetration level could be 20%.

        And this isn’t all about Renewable energy either. I’ve provided lots of examples (above picture) such as “Fast Mitigation” of so called short lived pollutants where their just might be encouragement in places like India: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2015/12/07/beijing-air-quality-china-pollution/76924786/

        Anyone interested in more positive daily news can follow our site on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/biomasscrops/

      • Stephen Segrest: Le’s see how you answer a question. The only info you have is (1) the negative wind story you provided; (2) my EIA link on very low capacity factors that are often associated with simple combustion turbines.

        That is not the only info I have. the point I made indirectly is that one should not depend only on the information supplied by you. Why restrict myself to these two sources only?

      • Curious George

        Stephen, thank you. I ask for A, you gladly supply B. No, I don’t have enough information – information supporting your position. As you only provide links that turn out to be either moronic or off-topic, I wish you a happy New Year.

  41. Extreme weather poses increasing risk to US power grid [link]

    storms are a growing threat

    Yes, we are closing coal fired power plants that are close by and relying more and more on wind and solar farms that require much longer transmission lines. Yes, the risk is increasing, but it is our own fault. We elected the people who are doing this unwise stuff.

    • I suspect it is population that threatens the system more than storms (which appear to be above the same or less than in the past).

    • And its impossible, just impossible, that U.S. Utilities are following sound engineering economics and integrated system planning. Its just another left wing socialist conspiracy. Citing things like solar’s penetrations being about one-half of 1%, SAIDI (international engineering metric on reliability), or ELCC is just Loony Tunes — Right?

      • And its impossible, just impossible, that U.S. Utilities are following sound engineering economics and integrated system planning.

        There is no way to follow EPA rules and still follow sound engineering economics and integrated system planning. You do have that right.

      • Curious George

        Stephen – are there any limits to your superior knowledge?

  42. UN’S decarbonisation mission impossible
    An international pension fund coalition – co-founded by a UN agency last September – wants to shift at least USD600 billion of other people’s money out of fossil fuels and into renewable energy projects.

    But it will do so only if governments establish ‘legal frameworks to protect long-term investors’ and ensure ‘capital reallocation’ is risk-free – that is, underwritten by taxpayers – in perpetuity. Nice work if you can get it.
    http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=17919

    http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v528/n7583/full/528480a.html

  43. “significant increase..in both vegetation greenness and monsoon rainfall over the Sahel since the early 1980s” [link]

    Results of more CO2 It makes the green stuff grow better while using less water.

  44. Meltwater from Greenland may have added 25mm to global sea levels between 1900 – 2010 [link]
    Yes, ice on earth has been depleting since the max ice volume of the little ice age. It does not snow enough in the cold times, the oceans are more frozen and ice does deplete.
    We are warm now and the ice is being replenished faster than it is depleting. That is what happens in every warm time. Ice and ice cold water are being dumped into the oceans and on land to bring about the next little ice age, in a few hundred years. The ice retreat will end and the ice advance will happen on schedule. Look at the data from the past.

  45. From the article:

    In theory, the Internet of Things—the connected network of tiny computers inside home appliances, household objects, even clothing—promises to make your life easier and your work more efficient.

    In theory, connected sensors will anticipate your needs, saving you time, money, and energy.

    Except when the companies that make these connected objects act in a way that runs counter to the consumer’s best interests—as the technology company Philips did recently with its smart ambient-lighting system, Hue,

    But the story of the Hue debacle—the story of a company using copy-protection technology to lock out competitors—isn’t a new one. Plenty of companies set up proprietary standards to ensure that their customers don’t use someone else’s products with theirs. Keurig, for example, puts codes on their single-cup coffee pods, and engineers their coffee makers to work only with those codes. HP has done the same thing with its printers and ink cartridges.

    To stop competitors just reverse-engineering the proprietary standard and making compatible peripherals (for example, another coffee manufacturer putting Keurig’s codes on their own pods), these companies rely on a 1998 law called the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DCMA). The law was originally passed to prevent people from pirating music and movies; while it hasn’t done a lot of good in that regard (as anyone who uses BitTorrent can attest), it has done a lot to inhibit security and compatibility research.

    Specifically, the DMCA includes an anti-circumvention provision, which prohibits companies from circumventing “technological protection measures” that “effectively control access” to copyrighted works. That means it’s illegal for someone to create a Hue-compatible lightbulb without Philips’ permission, a K-cup-compatible coffee pod without Keurigs’, or an HP-printer compatible cartridge without HP’s.

    By now, we’re used to this in the computer world. In the 1990s, Microsoft used a strategy it called “embrace, extend, extinguish,” in which it gradually added proprietary capabilities to products that already adhered to widely used standards. Some more recent examples: Amazon’s e-book format doesn’t work on other companies’ readers, music purchased from Apple’s iTunes store doesn’t work with other music players, and every game console has its own proprietary game cartridge format.

    http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2015/12/internet-of-things-philips-hue-lightbulbs/421884/

    • Amazon’s e-book format doesn’t work on other companies’ readers, music purchased from Apple’s iTunes store doesn’t work with other music players, and every game console has its own proprietary game cartridge format.

      Yep, I generally don’t use that stuff. I just don’t like stuff that does not work with other stuff.

  46. David L. Hagen

    Predicting a Coronal Mass Ejection
    An important discovery for accurately predicting and better warning about a catastrophic Coronal Mass Ejection so we can prepare.
    Discovering a previously unknown mechanism that halts solar eruptions before they blast into space

    The researchers found in laboratory experiments that such failures occur when the guide magnetic field — a force that runs along the flux rope — is strong enough to keep the rope from twisting and destabilizing. Under these conditions, the guide field interacts with electric currents in the flux rope to produce a dynamic force that halts the eruptions. PPPL has discovered the importance of this force, called the “toroidal field tension force,” which is missing from existing models of solar eruptions.

    See The Carrington Event

    From September 1st through September 2nd, 1859, Aurorae were seen everywhere, even as far south as Cuba; gold miners in the Rocky Mountains awoke hours before sunrise, thinking the sun had risen; the light emitted was so bright that those living in the northeastern US could read their newspapers.

    More than the terrestrial light show, the larger second CME induced electrical current in anything conductive: a technology killing event. Thankfully, most of its effects were felt in the only electrical based technology that existed at that time… The telegraph systems in Europe and North America were brought down, with some reports of electrocution and fires spawned around their lines.

    Were this event to occur today, the induced current would destroy, perhaps permanently, the American power grid system, shutting down power for years. Water, communications, food delivery, emergency systems, Internet, all supplied power by the grid would cease to function. Some scientists predict even smaller electronic systems, such as those in cars, cell phones, and basically anything with a computer would be damaged or destroyed by the induced current. No developed country would be spared.

    Such an event, would devastate the world economy. Worse, many millions would die from starvation, disease, and the ensuing violence erupting from fights over the last morsels of resources available. . . .

    Coronal Mass Ejections Handbook of Cosmic Hazards and Planetary Defense pp 81-98

  47. Article
    https://www.sciencenews.org/article/don’t-flip-out-earth’s-magnetic-poles-aren’t-about-switch Don’t flip out: Earth’s magnetic poles aren’t about to switch
    in the ‘Science News’ quoted above states:
    “Weakening magnetic field is a return to normal, not a sign of doom”

    There are paleomagnetic data going back some 7000 years:

    More interesting is the semi-centennial (every 50 years) variability as shown in red, its up and down movements are not that much different to what we know of the Holocene temperature variability when de-trended.
    Perhaps the global temperature is also doing what comes to it naturally.

  48. Hi Judy et al. A fully engaged four weeks in New Zealand before Christmas has changed my priorities. After years of involvement with the alleged catastrophic anthropogenic global warming issue, I’m going to step back from it. So thanks to all for everything, keep up the good work, and see you anon.

  49. Below is the transcript of the video “What They Haven’t Told You about Climate Change”: https://www.prageru.com/courses/environmental-science/what-they-havent-told-you-about-climate-change#.Vc4sj_lViko .

    “The only constant… is change.

    That’s true about life. And it’s true about the climate. The climate has been constantly changing since the earth was formed 4.6 billion years ago.

    For example, in just the past 2000 years, we have seen the Roman Warm Period, when it was warmer than today…Then came the cooler Dark Ages… Followed by the Medieval Warm period, when it was at least as warm as today… Then we had the Little Ice Age — that drove the Vikings out of Greenland. And, most recently, a gradual 300-year warming to the present day. That’s a lot of changes. And, of course, not one of them was caused by humans.

    During the past 400,000 years there have been four major periods of glaciation — meaning that vast sheets of ice covered a good part of the globe — interrupted by brief interglacial periods. We are in one of those periods right now. This is all part of the Pleistocene Ice Age which began in earnest two and a half million years ago. It’s still going on, which means that we are still living in an ice age. That’s the reason there’s so much ice at the poles. Thirty million years ago the earth had no ice on it at all.

    So, then, what about carbon dioxide, the great villain of the Global Warming alarmists? Where does that fit in to this picture? Not as neatly as you might think.
    Temperatures and carbon dioxide levels do not show a strong correlation. In fact, over very long time spans — periods of hundreds of millions of years — they are often completely out of sync with each other.

    Over and over again, within virtually any time frame, we find the climate changing — for reasons we do not fully understand. But we do know there are many more factors in play than simply the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere — factors such as the shape and size of the earth’s elliptical orbit around the sun, activity from the sun, and the amount of wobble or tilt in the earth’s axis, among many others. Even the relatively short 300-year period from the peak of the Little Ice Age to the present has not been steady. The latest trend has been a warming one, but it began nearly a century before there were significant carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels. And, there has been no significant warming trend in the 21st century. Contrary to media headlines, the trend over the past couple of decades has been essentially flat.

    Meanwhile human-caused CO2 emissions are higher than ever. About 25 percent of all the CO2 emissions from human sources have occurred during this period of no net warming.
    So, what are we in for next? Will the temperature resume an upward trend? Will it remain flat for a lengthy period? Or, will it begin to drop? No one knows. Not even the biggest, fastest computers.

    All the information I’ve presented — the increases, decreases and plateaus in temperature over the ages and into the last centuries — is available to anyone who wants to seek it out. Yet to state these simple facts is to risk being called a “climate change denier.” Not only is that absurd, it’s mean-spirited. It’s absurd because no one, not even the most fervent skeptic, denies that the climate is changing. And it’s mean-spirited because to call someone a climate change denier is to intentionally link them to people who deny the Holocaust. So, maybe it’s time to stop the name-calling.

    Predicting the climate, one of the most complex systems on earth with thousands of inputs, many of which we don’t understand, isn’t an exact science, or anything close to it. Maybe it’s just a tad arrogant to suggest that we can predict the weather or the climate or just about anything 60 years from now.

    The science is not “settled.” The debate is not over. The climate is always changing. It always has. And it always will.

    I’m Patrick Moore, Co-Founder of Greenpeace, for Prager University.”

  50. OT; an article by The Hill today mentions the recent hearing:

    Republicans split on attacking climate science
    http://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/264146-gop-split-on-attacking-climate-science

  51. Regarding the oil spill cleanup method, I submitted a method to easily capture and recover the vast majority of the oil during the gulf spill, using a simple to implement process. I sent it to the coast guard, the state governor, and the white house. I was at NASA at the time, and tried to get support through NASA to get the process out. I was ignored on all sides. My conclusion was that the fix is in on this and most problems. I am including the writeup for your evaluation: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1cVFurqCxQgo64DzzSn0hcKYlsjvjLUZG5Dq5bid9BGE/edit?usp=sharing
    If anyone can find why this would not work, please respond.

    • Leonard,

      Thought I’d responded before. Oh well. Seems clever to me. Won’t bother trying to say what I thought I’d said before. Well, maybe a bit.

      Vertical fins on booms allow oil to pile up. Suction more efficient. Use tug. Designed to pull. Sam Colt went bust a few times.

      Good luck.

      Cheers.

  52. How to make a small fortune.

    Start with a large one one, and invest in solar.

    Bloomberg –

    “Hanergy Thin Film Power Group Ltd., the solar equipment maker that earlier this year briefly became the world’s most valuable clean energy company, is now worth almost $20 billion less than when trading was suspended in Hong Kong more than seven months ago.
    Hanergy is currently worth about HK$9 billion ($1.16 billion), compared with a market value of HK$163 billion when the shares were halted on May 20 after falling almost 50 percent. At one point this year, Hanergy’s market value was bigger than those of Sony Corp. and Twitter Inc.”

    $163 billion to $1.16 billion. Damned efficient at losing money, that’s for sure!

    Cheers.

    • Mike Flynn,

      Did someone say “solar”? What a cue. I just posted the following comment in reply to ScottishScientist’s suggestion on ‘Energy Matters’ http://euanmearns.com/blowout-week-104/#comment-14236 . Below is my response (should get some attention from the usual suspects :) )

      Scottish Sceptic,

      I’ve been thinking about your thought provoking idea of HDVC from solar power stations in southern hemisphere deserts to northern Europe. Nuclear power would be less than 1/10th the cost.

      Basis of estimate:

      Option 1: 10 GW HVDC transmission line from solar thermal power stations in southern hemisphere deserts

      Assume 20 x 500 MW solar thermal power stations which in combination can supply 10 GW power with equivalent capacity factor and availability as 10 x 1 GW nuclear power stations located in Europe.

      Storage needs to be either at the solar power stations or in Europe. The transmission line would have to be some 5 to 10 times higher capacity if the storage is located in Europe rather than at the power stations. Storage is expensive wherever it is located so let’s minimise the transmission line costs. Therefore, assume storage is at the power stations.

      Solar power stations will need to be widely distributed to minimise the effects of large weather systems and dust storms. Say they are dispersed and located at a radius of 1,000 km from the start of the HVDC transmission line. So, we need say 10 x 1 GW transmission lines to feed from pairs of power stations to the start of the transmission line.

      The solar power stations will need sufficient solar field and energy storage to supply say 5 days of full power 24/7 for 60 years (at equivalent of the 90% CF of the nuclear plants).

      Redundancy is needed in the solar plants and the transmission line. If the 10 GW transmission line trips and there is no redundancy, that is the same as 10 GW of nuclear power plants tripping at exactly the same time. This would probably bring the EU electricity system down.

      You calculated the HVDC line length would be 12,637 km from the Tropic of Capricorn to northern Europe. I’ll use 10,000 km for ease of calculations.

      I’ll use unit cost of $1,000/ MW.km – based on $1,364/MW.km from Table 6 here: http://www.electranet.com.au/assets/Uploads/interconnectorfeasibilitystudyfinalnetworkmodellingreport.pdf .

      Therefore, the cost of the HVDC transmission line is:

      $1,000/MW.km x 10,000 MW x 10,000 km = $1.0 x 10^11 = $100 billion
      To that we must add:
      • 10 x 1,000 km x 1,000 MW transmission lines @ $1,000/MW.km = $10 billion
      • Feeder lines in Europe
      • 20 x 500 MW solar thermal power stations with 5-days storage capacity @ $30/W = $300 billion
      • Total = $410 billion (but probably higher because of need for redundancy of solar thermal power stations.

      Option 2: 11 GW of new nuclear power stations in Europe

      10 GW new nuclear at say $5 billion per GW (NOAK cost) = $50 billion
      This would require negligible additional transmission cost.

      This option is less than half the cost of the HVDC transmission line and feeders alone, let alone the cost of the solar thermal power stations.

      Germany is building 10 new large coal power stations. If nuclear was built instead of coal, the additional capital cost might be say $20 billion (and lower operating cost through life).

      Therefore, the nuclear option would be less than 1/5th cost of the HVDC line alone and less than 1/10 the cost including the solar thermal power stations.

      The nuclear option would also be much more reliable and less prone to disruption by ISIS and dictators like Puttin.

      Clearly, the HVDC transmission from solar thermal power stations in the southern hemisphere is not worth serious consideration.

      • Peter Lang,

        When I consider a new proposal, initially I apply a couple of cautions.
        First, the devil’s in the detail, and second, the maintenance might get you.

        I agree with you, in relation to the solar powered HVDC proposal.

        As a matter of interest to others, maybe –

        Apparently, Japan has restarted at least two nuclear plants since Fukushima, with plans to restart many more soon. It seems like common sense to me, but many would no doubt disagree.

        Cheers.

      • Thanks Mike Flynn,

        Also, Bangladesh has just inked an order with Russia for 2 x 1200 MW nuclear power stations http://www.powerengineeringint.com/articles/2015/12/bangladesh-and-russia-sign-nuclear-deal.html?cmpid=EnlPEIDecember302015&eid=325358755&bid=1264969 and Russia is to build 12 new reactors for India. Also 6 US AP1000s are being negotiated for India. It seems at least the developing world is developing.

      • As usual, Mr. Lang is up to his mis-information campaign. There are at least two errors (deliberate?) in the information he posted in the comment.

        First, he states that 10 nuclear power plants are the basis, at 90 percent Capacity Factor (CF).
        Also, he states the cost per nuclear plant is $5,000 per kW installed.

        Per Lang: “10 GW new nuclear at say $5 billion per GW (NOAK cost) = $50 billion” and also

        “The solar power stations will need sufficient solar field and energy storage to supply say 5 days of full power 24/7 for 60 years (at equivalent of the 90% CF of the nuclear plants).” — note the 60 year claim.

        For ten nuclear plants at 1,000 MW each, installed cost would be at least $12,000 per kW, or $120 billion. This is predicated on, as I have written many times here on Climate Etc., an overnight cost of $4,000 per kW, plus appropriate escalations and interest on loans of $6,000 per kW, plus additional funds to allow hardening the site against collision from a large commercial aircraft, totalling then $12,000 per kW. However, those are based on 2009 data, and simple escalation to 2016 dollars would bring the overnight cost to $5,000 and the total installed cost per kW to $15,000. Therefore, the realistic cost to use for comparison is not $120 billion, but $150 billion.

        However, it is much worse, because nuclear plants do not have a 90 percent capacity factor over their lifetime. Indeed, France’s much – touted and vaunted nuclear fleet is struggling now at just above 70 percent. To claim a 90 percent capacity greatly exaggerates the reality.

        “EDF’s average load factor for its French nuclear fleet [was] 73 percent in 2013, which is also down from its highest level of 77.6 percent in 2005, the company’s 2013 results show.” (load factor is the ratio of the actual output to the nameplate capacity) — source: EurActive.com, August 2014.

        Therefore, using a more realistic figure of 80 percent over the life of the plant (more on that later), the 10 nuclear plants must be adjusted by 90/80 for 1.12 plants. Or, there must be 11 plants built, not 10. That adds yet another $15 billion to the cost, for $165 billion total.

        Second, he states that the nuclear plants have a lifetime of 60 years. They don’t. Typically, the nuclear plants barely make it past 40 years, with many shut down far before the 40 year mark. Also, substantial investment is required at around year 30 to 35 to replace unsafe and worn out, expensive equipment such as Steam Generators. Many times, the plant owner cannot justify the additional expense, plus more money to repair the plant to maintain its ability to pass safety inspections. Therefore, the 11 plants must be replaced at year 40, or even year 45, for an additional $165 billion – in constant dollars.

        The economics comparing the solar-plus-storage-plus-transmission seem a bit different when the nuclear side must pay its fair share.

        But then, this is what we have all come to expect from Mr. Lang.

      • Roger Sowell,

        Capital cost of nuclear power plants – We’ve already debated your comments about the capital costs in previous threads – including Overnight Costs, Engineering Procurement and Construction Costs, Total Plant Costs, Total Project Costs, Interest During Construction, Financing Costs, etc. (and I provided links which you refused to read). Deal with it back on those threads, rather than repeating your arguments again here. I pointed out on previous threads you have to use the same assumptions and inputs prepared on a properly comparable basis for all options being analysed in an options analysis, not pick and choose different assumptions for different options. You also frequently exaggerate and use high costs of FOAK plants being built after 20-30 years of pause and loss of expertise in US and Europe. You ignore the reasons for the high cost of plants in US and Europe and ignore that the cause of the high costs is political and therefore can be addressed over time. You ignore that the costs of similar nuclear plants in China and Korea are 1/3 to ½ the cost of plants in USA and Europe.

        Importantly, no matter how you try to inflate the cost of nuclear, it is still many times cheaper than the proposed option of HDVC from solar thermal in Namib Desert. If you want to include financing costs in your comparison then include it for the HVDC line and 10 GW of solar thermal each with 75 h energy storage or 50 GW solar thermal each with 15 h of energy storage. Financing cost to be for the period until the project is complete and supplying the equivalent of what the new nuclear plants in Europe can supply with equivalent availability and reliability.

        Historical life time average capacity factor of nuclear power plants – Average life time capacity factor for all nuclear plants up to 2014 = 76.9%. However, capacity factor is increasing as the technology improves. In some countries, like France, the reactors are load-following and power is reduced at night and on weekends, so their lifetime average capacity factor is lower than where nuclear is used as purely baseload plants. Finland’s and Romania’s plants have averaged over 90% throughout their lives, Switzerland 86.9% Korea 86.5%, China 86% through their lives; USA over 90% for the past 5 years https://www.iaea.org/PRIS/WorldStatistics/LifeTimeEnergyAvailabilityFactor.aspx

        Many comparisons, such as EIA, are done using 85%. However, using 80% or 90% in my analysis you have disagreed with makes negligible difference to the cost comparison of 10 GW new nuclear in Europe versus 10 GW HVDC and 10 GW firm power from solar thermal power stations in Namib Desert.

        Any way you do the comparison you’ll find the HVDC and solar thermal with storage to supply 10 GW power at same reliability as nuclear plants in Europe is many times more costly than nuclear plants in Europe – I estimated roughly $20-$50 billion for capital cost for 10 GW new nuclear in Europe versus $410 to $710 for HVDC and 10 GW solar thermal with 75 h energy storage each. Actually it would probably be far more costly than this because solar thermal with 75 h energy storage is virtually impossible, 15 h energy storage is a stretch and even that can’t provide full power 24/7 in winter.

        Dodging this fact is dodging what’s relevant and important.

    • Mike Flynn,

      ScottishScienitst asked me some questions about the basis of my estimate. I replied as follows:

      Scottishscienitist,

      were you converting AUD $1,364 to US $1,000, because that is about the exchange rate?

      No. I rounded down for ease of calculations. Most of the cost figures I use are from around 2010 to 2012; at this time AUD and USD were roughly on par; AUD was up to 10% higher than USD at one stage and now is about 30% lower. My calculations are ‘ball’ park and have such huge uncertainties that the difference between USD and AUD is not worth worrying about.

      By far the greatest uncertainty is in the cost of the solar thermal power stations with storage to provide a reliable 10 GW feed into the HVDC line.

      Can you likewise provide a link to a source from which you arrived at the “$30/W” factor in “20 x 500 MW solar thermal power stations with 5-days storage capacity @ $30/W = $300 billion”?

      Would that be quoting “$30/W” in on-demand power capacity with a 24/7 availability, after factoring in that to achieve 1 Watt on demand one would need to install some multiple Watts in nameplate solar power backed-up with 1 Watt-for-5-days of energy storage?

      I’m curious about the assumptions in that “$30/W” costing if any – such as what multiple of nameplate solar power and why is was “5 days of energy storage” you assumed?

      I am very glad you asked that. I was expecting someone to jump all over it and say my estimate is rubbish. So thanks for asking without implying I am a nut case (someone may still do so :) ).

      I originally did a simple ‘back of an envelope analysis’ for capital cost and LCOE of solar thermal with 15 h storage using Australian Government costs from the Department of Resources and Energy. That estimate is explained here:
      100% renewable electricity for Australia – the cost
      http://bravenewclimate.com/2012/02/09/100-renewable-electricity-for-australia-the-cost/ Download the pdf to see the detailed explanation in Appendix 1.
      And you can download the spreadsheet with the calculations and inputs here: http://bravenewclimate.files.wordpress.com/2012/02/renewable-electric-nem-the-cost-v0-05.xls

      The Australian Government updated the figures in the Australian Technology Assessment Report (AETA) 2012 report here: http://www.industry.gov.au/Office-of-the-Chief-Economist/Publications/Documents/aeta/australian_energy_technology_assessment.pdf

      The AETA 2012 report, pp36-37, gives capital cost figures for solar thermal with and without 6 h storage (in 2009 USD/kW):

      Without storage: US$4,920/kW
      With 6 h storage: US$8,950/kW
      Therefore, 6 h storage and the solar field size multiplier cost = US$4,030/kW

      Now, here is the hard part. How many GW, of solar thermal power stations, spread over what area and over how many degrees of longitude, and how much energy storage is needed to supply a reliable 10 GW of power into the HDVC line?

      Gemasolar, Spain, has 15 h storage and it’s near useless in winter. I decided your concept was to tap the southern hemisphere summer to supply power to northern hemisphere winter and presumed you’d have an equivalent sized system in the northern hemisphere deserts to supply Europe in summer.

      We know that we can get large weather systems that last many days to a week and cover thousands of kilometres in diameter. So, I assumed we’d need sufficient storage to supply 5 days full power from 10 GW of solar power stations. I’ll assume there is sufficient sunlight in day time, for 9 h per day, to provide the power without drawing on storage. Therefore, we need 5 days x 15 h/d storage = 75 h storage at full power.

      I factor up the cost of the 6 h storage and solar field multiplier to 75 h and add the cost without storage (includes the power block etc.):

      US$4,030/kW x 75/6 + US$4,920/kW = $55,295
      Add 10% for Auxiliary load = US$61,439

      I then halved this figure – to reduce the expected abuse :) – and came up with $30/W

      You could, of course, tackle this estimate in many others ways and with different assumptions – e.g. allow for the massive dust storms and a year to clean the mirrors afterwards.

      I look forward to discussion and other estimates of the cost to provide a reliable 10 GW power into the HDVC transmission line. Or better still, a cost estimate to deliver a reliable 10 GW to Europe.

      Oh, one more thing: there are 155 mostly good comments on the thread http://bravenewclimate.com/2012/02/09/100-renewable-electricity-for-australia-the-cost/ and another 67 comments on the response by Dr Mark Diesendorf, one of the authors of the EDM study I used as the basis for the proportions of technologies needed to meet the 2010 demand profile: http://bravenewclimate.com/2012/02/27/100-renewable-electricity-for-australia-response-to-lang/ .

  53. Mike Flynn,

    When I consider a new proposal, initially I apply a couple of cautions.
    First, the devil’s in the detail, and second, the maintenance might get you.

    True at the detailed design and investment decision stage. But at the early conceptual engineering and feasibility \stage, it’s the big picture, ball park, common sense that counts, i.e. what engineers call ‘engineering judgement’ – i.e. decades of experience and grey hairs. In the case of the HCVC line powered by solar thermal power plants in the southern hemisphere deserts to power Europe in summer, the greatest uncertainty is how much solar thermal energy storage capacity and generating capacity, and distributed over what area would be required to ensure reliable 10 MW power to the HDVC line for 60 years. Tell me the answer and the cost, please. :)

    • Peter Lang,

      May I throw in another uncertainty? Depending on where the solar thermal power plant is to be built, can anyone be assured that the locals won’t complain? Eventually? Vigorously?

      My initial big picture reaction to any proposal like the one you mention is no, not without a few answers to apparently simple questions. I believe you are not likely to get any cogent answers to yours, but you never know, do you?

      Cheers.

    • Correction: 10 GW, not 10 MW.