Week in review – science edition

by Judith Curry

A few things that caught my eye this past week.

Looks like an important paper:  How increasing CO2 leads to a negative greenhouse effect in Antarctica [link]

How bad of a greenhouse gas is methane? [link]

Antarctica: ice melt drives unusual phytoplankton growth [link]

Upper-ocean mixing due to surface gravity waves [link]

JC op-ed in the Financial Post: Unnatural consensus on climate change [link] …

Harnessing the ocean’s energy: Wave of the future for renewables? [link]

Big Data, Big Computers, Big Trouble [link]

Fabius Maximus:  Daniel Davies insights’ about forecasts can unlock the #climatechange debate [link]

A rather entertaining piece on the ‘warfare’ between Nassim Nicholas Taleb and Steven Pinker over thin versus fat tails [link]

Taleb: Paper debunking Pinker boy accepted in PHYSICA A: Stat Mech [link]  …

What makes an academic paper useful for health policy? [link]

Glyphosate (RoundUp) & Cancer: what do the data say? [link] …

It’s practically impossible to define “GMOs” [link]

Fine piece by Matt Ridley on the great 18th century landscaper Capability Brown [link]

The problem with science journalism: we’ve forgotten that reality matters most [link] …

Data Mining Reveals the Extent of China’s Ghost Cities [link]

Campus free speech issues

Report: Restrictions on free speech at American universities ‘is a national scandal’ [link]

An interview with a real free speech champ-the student founder of @BrownUniversity’s underground free speech group: [link] …

On guilt, the Academy, & punitive liberalism. The absurdities of today’s student revolutionaries. [link]

Purdue’s STEM graduates in touch with need for free speech — here’s why [link]

Camille Paglia: “We need more dissent and less dogma.” [link]  …


360 responses to “Week in review – science edition

  1. Dear Professor Curry,

    There is an intriguing suggestion that information is controlled on the web and the dangers of WI-FI radiation are therefore underestimated:


    • I was in the thick of the cell phone radiation causes brain cancer battle. There is nothing to this story. And a lots more science has been thrown at RF EM everywhere from kilohertz to megahertz to 5+ gigahertz than a single science fair seed germination experiment. MOT had a pig farm with continuous on 10x more powerful than cell phone max transmitters strapped to the pigs heads for their entire lives. We ran the experiment for 10 years, over 1000 pigs/year. Nothing. And wifi transmitters are much weaker than cell phones. Have to be.

      • One can only hope the particulate matter BS suffers the same fate as cellphone radiation. Then again power plants present an easier target than phones, nevermind the (lack of) evidence.

      • Thank you, ristvan. The results of the high school experiment, if verified, would certainly merit the publication of new information the old-fashion way, rather than relying entirely on the Internet.

      • ristvan | January 2, 2016 at 3:54 pm | Reply
        ” MOT had a pig farm with continuous on 10x more powerful than cell phone max transmitters strapped to the pigs heads for their entire lives. We ran the experiment for 10 years, over 1000 pigs/year.”

        Presumably all the evidence disappeared at Christmas each year, Rud.

      • Hmm. If you really want to frighten people then all those wire loops near to power lines can be replaced by a small indoor experiment near to any fluorescent light tubes. That should get some attention and risk balancing about radiation right there.

      • Angtech, a logical presumption since hogs reach market weight in 9 months. We grew some batches of about 100 every 9 months on Mots farm. But we raised more of those pigs for three years each before slaughter and exhaustive autopsy (technically, since animals, necropsy).

        And, why pigs? Because their metabolism is very similar to humans. Omnivores. Flu supscetible. Skin Burn model… Not because of bacon.
        Just animal model RF EMR research

    • My accounts on ResearchGate and Discus were both locked after I published scientifically correct, but politically incorrect, information on the origin of Solar energy.”

  2. Pingback: Week in review – science edition | Enjeux énergies et environnement

  3. Not one story about Natural Climate Variability. That must change.

    • I have a project underway with that in mind

      • The fountain of energy Copernicus discovered at the gravitational center of the solar system in 1543 is only 133,000 times more massive than the third speck of dirt orbiting it, the water covered planet we call Earth.

        Do you suppose the Sun might influence climate change on planet Earth?

    • If you really want to know what is being published you have to use a wide array of search terms and sort by date on services like Google Scholar. Search for the names of natural cycles, etc. You’ll come up with a much better list of things to look at. There is tons of stuff about natural cycles, variability, etc.

  4. ECS cannot be zero. ECS cannot be negative. Scratch that. True everywhere in the universe except apparently Antarctica.

    • No-one is saying ECS is negative. ECS is global, not local. They have a very limited proposition – the GHE happens when IR radiation from the warm surface is thermalised by GHG in the atmosphere, and re-radiated at a colder temperature. In a very few places in the world, High Antarctica and maybe Greenland, the surface itself maybe colder than the radiation layer. In that case, the balance is reversed. AGW is not local; heat is rapidly mixed. The result has no implications for those places, and only a tiny effect on global It’s tiny because not only are the areas relatively small, but because of cold they emit a very small fraction of total IR.

      It’s a curiosity, but not an important paper. It was already well-known that the Antarctic surface was close in temp to the emission layer, and calculations were based on that knowledge. Whether it is just above or just below has very little importance.

      • Nick Stokes, “It’s a curiosity, but not an important paper.”

        True, but due to Steig’s valiant search for Antarctic warming along with a number of pretty amateurish attempts to explain why the stratosphere cools while the troposphere warms it is a great paper for bringing up some past overconfidence. And while the energy emission of that cold region is minuscule, temperature anomaly gets a lot of attention from the “pause” busters.

      • The authors don’t think it’s a curiosity – they argue it contributes to explaining the lack of of warming in East Antarctica.

        Btw the thesis has more detail, though I can’t really comment on whether it makes sense. Can’t paste link from my phone but it’s in the first page if you google Schmithausen Antarctica.

      • Nick, read harder, especially my fourth sentence. You agree with me.

      • Nick Stokes: ECS is global, not local

        Almost every region of the Earth surface has known mechanisms by which increased CO2 might have little or no effect on warming, and might have a negative effect. For example, areas of the ocean surface might exhibit increased water vaporization rates instead of increased temperature when DWLWIR increases; that might produce extra cloud cover and albedo, at least sometimes. What is not known is what the actual quantitative effects will be in all of these areas. The Antarctic study clarifies (pending replication) the situation for one particular region; a region for which “polar amplification” had previously been promulgated (but now discredited.) The CO2 effects have been exaggerated and hyped. All new empirical research is likely to fall into this category of not very important, local, and compatible with previous knowledge. Given knowledge and ignorance now, the net effect of all these small discoveries could be a 0 climate sensitivity to a doubling of CO2 concentration starting from where the Earth is now.

      • Nick Stokes: RealClimate is still predicting that Polar Amplification will be equal in the Arctic and Antarctic, at “equilibrium” (http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2006/01/polar-amplification/ ). That might not occur if the rate of radiation from the Antarctic increases with CO2 increase.

        Clearly the topic deserves more research.

      • Nick, for “global AGW” this paper has not a big influence, you are partially right. Anyway: one of the big points of it is to look how models deal with this simple physics. The paper was the outcomNick, for “global AGW” this paper he of this http://elib.suub.uni-bremen.de/edocs/00104190-1.pdf thesis. In table 2.4 one can see the wide spread of the models, some of them don’t recognise the “negative GHE”. What about the underlying physics of these CMIP5s? From the conclusions of the thesis: “(GHG) Sure, they have a “shielding” effect over the tropics by causing long-wave downwelling radiation to heat the surface. The same happens, to some smaller extent though, in the polar regions. In addition to that, GHGs give the atmosphere the ability to emit energy directly into space, without the need to transport it through the surface first. This increases the ability of the planet to get rid of energy at the poles, which has been collected over the tropics. In essence, this helps the atmosphere to perform its “task” of meridional energy transport; GHGs help to balance the radiative imbalance between the tropics and the poles.”
        A bigger role of this effect than thought?

      • MattStat, I love digging out old real climate posts :)

      • Does this influence glacier formation at higher altitudes?

  5. Re phytoplankton paper. Other papers have said the high levels of Antarctic sea ice is due to warming and increased melt water from the ice sheets. The assumption here is that further climate change will reduce sea ice. Which is it?

    The other thought from the paper is how interesting these chains of causality can be.

  6. two papers in science on CO2 dynamics in the ocean:

    1. Science 18 December 2015:
    Vol. 350 no. 6267 pp. 1530-1533
    DOI: 10.1126/science.aaa9942
    Millennial-scale plankton regime shifts in the subtropical North Pacific Ocean
    Kelton W. McMahon1,2,*, Matthew D. McCarthy1, Owen A. Sherwood3, Thomas Larsen4, Thomas P. Guilderson1,2,5

    ↵*Corresponding author. E-mail: kemcmaho@ucsc.edu
    Climate change is predicted to alter marine phytoplankton communities and affect productivity, biogeochemistry, and the efficacy of the biological pump. We reconstructed high-resolution records of changing plankton community composition in the North Pacific Ocean over the past millennium. Amino acid–specific δ13C records preserved in long-lived deep-sea corals revealed three major plankton regimes corresponding to Northern Hemisphere climate periods. Non–dinitrogen-fixing cyanobacteria dominated during the Medieval Climate Anomaly (950–1250 Common Era) before giving way to a new regime in which eukaryotic microalgae contributed nearly half of all export production during the Little Ice Age (~1400–1850 Common Era). The third regime, unprecedented in the past millennium, began in the industrial era and is characterized by increasing production by dinitrogen-fixing cyanobacteria. This picoplankton community shift may provide a negative feedback to rising atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations.


    2. Science 18 December 2015:
    Vol. 350 no. 6267 pp. 1533-1537
    DOI: 10.1126/science.aaa8026
    Multidecadal increase in North Atlantic coccolithophores and the potential role of rising CO2
    Sara Rivero-Calle1,2,*, Anand Gnanadesikan1,*, Carlos E. Del Castillo1,3, William M. Balch4, Seth D. Guikema5
    ↵*Corresponding author. E-mail: sara.rivero@jhu.edu (S.R.-C.); gnanades@jhu.edu (A.G.)
    As anthropogenic carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions acidify the oceans, calcifiers generally are expected to be negatively affected. However, using data from the Continuous Plankton Recorder, we show that coccolithophore occurrence in the North Atlantic increased from ~2 to more than 20% from 1965 through 2010. We used random forest models to examine more than 20 possible environmental drivers of this change, finding that CO2 and the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation were the best predictors, leading us to hypothesize that higher CO2 levels might be encouraging growth. A compilation of 41 independent laboratory studies supports our hypothesis. Our study shows a long-term basin-scale increase in coccolithophores and suggests that increasing CO2 and temperature have accelerated the growth of a phytoplankton group that is important for carbon cycling.

    • MM, good spots both. Thanks. The first new paper is a confirmation of lab/model study dissected in essay Good Bad News. The second is another refutation of the ‘carbon sinks saturate’ alarmist nonsense: even coccolithophores are greening.

      • ristvan: MM, good spots both. Thanks.

        I am glad you liked them. They and others make me think that my annual AAAS dues and paper Science subscription are worthwhile. For depth and thoroughness I sometimes download the SOM, but I like holding the magazine in my hand as I read on the couch.

      • Second Rud’s sentiment. And your preference for hard copy for reading.

        Electronic is good for searchability, but paper is better once you find what your looking for.

      • MM,

        Could be due to my age, but holding a newspaper, magazine or book is still my preferred way to read.

  7. Not only does increasing CO2 cause a zero to negative (cooling) greenhouse effect in Antarctica, CO2 is also exerts a “comparatively weak” greenhouse warming effect in the Arctic (Greenland). This means that the “polar amplification” models are erroneous, as are the assumptions that the Greenland ice sheet and Antarctic ice sheet are showing a negative mass balance due predominantly to CO2, which means that projections of catastrophic sea level rise due to CO2 forcing of polar ice sheet melt lack substantiation. Indeed this is an important paper.

    Abstract: For this region [central Antarctica], the emission to space is higher than the surface emission; and the greenhouse effect of CO2 is around zero or even negative, which has not been discussed so far. We investigated this in detail and show that for central Antarctica an increase in CO2 concentration leads to an increased long-wave energy loss to space, which cools the Earth-atmosphere system.

    For most of the Antarctic Plateau, GHE-TES [greenhouse effect as measured by the Tropospheric Emission Spectrometer] is close to zero or even slightly negative; i.e., the presence of CO2 increases radiative cooling. Over Greenland, the greenhouse effect of CO2 is also comparatively weak but invariably positive. An evaluation of monthly averages of GHE-TES shows that the increased cooling due to CO2 of Antarctica is strongest during austral spring and autumn. … Central Antarctica is the only place on the planet where increased CO2 concentrations lead to an increased LW energy loss to space [cooling]. In the Northern Hemisphere the lowest, but invariably positive, [CO2] forcing values are seen over Greenland and Eastern Siberia.

    • The case for Greenland melting was already weak. The short version is, the place didn’t melt when temps were 8-10ºC higher.

      The paper if true is indeed a game-changer in that East Antarctica holds 80-85% of the world’s ice. Of course the case for alarm can still be kept alive, if just barely, by the threat of a West Antarctica collapse – which would raise sea levels by three meters if it disappeared.

      Speaking of which, a noob question: part of WAIS is already underwater, i.e. the ‘coast’ is ice and the land is below sea level. Would this affect estimates of SLR in case of total melting? I suppose the underwater part is a rounding error, perhaps a few meters in height out of hundreds, but if anyone knows about this for sure…

      And two noob questions from the other thread:
      -When the IPCC talks about tropospheric ozone forcing, they mean actual ozone gas causing radiative forcing. Is this correct?
      -When they talk about stratospheric ozone, I understand they actually mean ozone depletion – a negative forcing. Correct?

      • AZC, not a noob question. Any grounded ice does not contribute to SLR. And there is a lot of it on the Ross and Ronne ice shelves. Maybe 10-15% of WAIS ice volume. But both are not endangered by AGW, and never have been. Essay Tipping Points explains and gives references.

      • ristvan,

        The Ross ice shelf has collapsed before, so it could again, and if would cause like 5 meters of sea level rise in a short period of time.

        Not likely in the near future, but if we don’t hold to 3 C above preindustrial, it will be something to think about.


        But it looks quiet now


        You just can’t say the Ross ice shelf will not collapse, because it has happened before due to natural warming, way before we were here.

      • BobD, an interesting assertion about the Ross ice shelf. Have you heard of or read the results of, the ANDRILL project? It was a multi-million, multination project to drill multile cores down to Ross seabed. Guess what. ANDRILL proves that your fear is unjustified. So 1990’s, after which folks went out onto Ross and did the observational science. You might benefit from reading ebook Blowing Smoke foreword from our gracious host. You just did blow smoke. Not good for your credibility.

      • bobdroege,

        The Ross ice shelf has collapsed before, so it could again, and if would cause like 5 meters of sea level rise in a short period of time.

        Of course that is true. The fact that it is unusual to have any ice at the poles is clear demonstration that the planet’s normal temperature is much warmer than now. There is also persuasive paleo evidence that life thrives when the planet is warmer. So, warming is not catastrophic – only cooling is catastrophic.

        However, the planet will not get out of it’s current coldhouse phase (i.e with ice at the poles) for tens of millions of years – i.e. not until S. America separates from N. America and allows ocean currents to circulate the globe in mostly low latidues.

        What your comment fails to mention is the time dimension.

      • Bobdroege,

        Further to my previous comment, spending $1.5 trillion per year on the “climate Industry” is not making an iota of difference to when the ice sheet might collapse. In fact the $1.5 trillion per year is almost total waste. There is no measureable return on the investment – it is making no difference whatsoever to the climate. It’s doing far more damage than benefit.

      • My response to Lang’s low latitude mixing of the Oceans is down below. Often find the reply sequencing of the blog a bit troublesome unless I am Johnny-on-the-spot replying!

      • Ristvan

        You blew your credibility when you said the Ross Ice Shelf couldn’t collapse, when it actually has in the past.

        500 years before your time, this is what the Bard said about your ebook Blowing Smoke “Your bait of falsehood takes this carp of truth”

        Ice shelves bounded on two side will not have the same effect on sea level as shelves bounded on only one side. The ice at the back of both the Ross Ice Shelf and the Rhonne Ice Shelf are much thicker and form an ice bridge between the two sides and will increase sea level on collapse.

        I am not feared of the collapse, but it is a valid reason to prevent AGW from exceeding 2C.

        This is what ANDRILL says: “More than 60 cycles of glacial to interglacial change were recovered in total”



        Seems you mention ANDRILL, and they support what I am saying and not what you are saying.

        So who’s blowing smoke and who has no credibility?

      • BobD, what you saymis both true and highly misleading. 60 cycles of growth/shrinkage ofmthe Ross grounding line does not mean itmhas ever ‘collapsed’ causing sudden SLR. ANDRILL shows Ross grounding line stopped retreating about 4kya. The only studies inferring sudden SLR are methodologically flawed, and in the case of OLeary, arguably also comprising academic misconduct. You don’t like the ebook, essentially the same essay was guest posted here gratis as a form of peer review. Check Judith’s archives for “By Land or by Sea”. Then get back with fact refutations if you can. But misrepresenting ANDRILL does not imspire comfidence that you can or will.

      • They found layered diatomite and diamictite which indicates cyclical conditions between ice sheets and open ocean.


        page 71 to 79 or Raish et al

        I’ll let you find the part where it says there were no ice calving into the Ross sea.

        I wonder what that means

      • bobdroege | January 2, 2016 at 6:26 pm |
        “Not likely in the near future, but if we don’t hold to 3 C above preindustrial, it will be something to think about.”

        As there is zero evidence that WE can significantly alter the Earth’s temperature any more than WE can significantly alter the time the Sun rises and sets, far less do so by as much as 3°C, we haven’t any reason to worry, have we?

        So please excuse me if I reserve my thinking to far more serious matters, such as which of my various single malt whiskeys I should sample this evening.

    • Now that you mention polar amplification, I understand this is more like a series of theories, not something established physically.
      ‘Both poles warmed [in the model] more at the surface than the midlatitudes or equatorial regions’

      The feeling I get from the article and comments is no one really knows if the poles are supposed to warm up more or not.

    • Not only does increasing CO2 cause a zero to negative (cooling) greenhouse effect in Antarctica, CO2 is also exerts a “comparatively weak” greenhouse warming effect in the Arctic (Greenland).

      Someone has measured this and proved that CO2 caused these changes?????? I don’t think so. Is this just theory and model output? So far, that has always been wrong.

      Natural Variability has been left out of all these debates.

      • “Natural Variability has been left out of all these debates.”

        Indeed it has. With an apparent confirmation of a 60 year cycle in temperature in both UAH and RSS that may change.

    • I believe that Lang is referring to mixing of the Pacific and Atlantic when the Isthmus of the Americas is “broken”.
      For a discussion of the effects on glaciation as the result of So. America’s “breaking” from the Antarctic continent and its joining with the No American continent, see:
      Per Ice Core data, we have had many mainly cold, raw ~100K year cycles since the Isthmus of Panama was formed about 4-5 million years ago. We are lucky to be in a warm period NOW!

      JCH, when will the almighty Pacific start dumping warm water (via clouds) unto a chilled No. American Continent to create the next ICE AGE?

      • The atmosphere is being altered. The enhanced greenhouse effect works. Mankind has placed a boiler in the icebox.

      • “Mankind has placed a boiler in the icebox.”

        Mankind has probably barely altered the Gaia Ice Skater, twirling she way down entropy, icy hands to the poles, warm hands to the waist, sometimes too fast/cold, sometimes warm/slow. As I say towards entropy.

      • Joel,

        I’ve just seen this comment. But it seems to be confusing time scales. You are looking only at periods within the later stages of the current coldhouse phase. See Figure 6.1, IPCC AR4 WG1:

        This figure begins at 400 million years ago avoiding the previous coldhouse period when CO2 concentrations were (reportedly) as high as 7000 ppm (although that is not what this IPCC chart shows).

        The planet started trending down to the current cold-house phase about 50 million years ago. East Antarctica ice sheet started about 10 million years ago; West Antarctica and Arctic about 4 million years ago.

        You can see we are not in a warm period. We are in a cold period, but an interglacial withing the cold period. The importance of this is that the planet can warm a long way without life on Earth being threatened. Quite likely warming will be good for life. So, catastrophic global warming can be ruled out, it is not a realistic scenario.

      • Joel,

        50 Mya, when the planet was warm, the South and North America were well separated. 10Mya, when the East Antarctica ice sheet began to form, N and S America had joined, thus preventing circulation of ocean currents around the world at low latitudes:

        You can move the tectonic plates by hand if you have power :)

    • kennethrichards: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2015GL066749/full

      Thank you for the link. I believe that we discussed this paper at ClimateEtc a few months ago. I referred to it in one of my comments on the “War on Fire” thread.

  8. Glyphosate and cancer. A tremendously well done article scrutinizing the basis for the WHO pronouncement, since the announcement was made a year before the underlying research basis was to be published. No there, there. Case/control only a weak association with one cancer only out of about 20 types, confounded by small sample size and exposure to other ag chemicals, some of which are KNOWN carcinogens in animal studies. Cohort studies show no carcinogeneity for that one (NHL) or any other. Plus, no glyphosate carcinogeneity in the original massive overexposure animal studies. More UN balderdash, worse than IPCC selection bias and misrepresentation. WHO takes sides in the GMO wars, and picks the side of hunger/starvation.

  9. Methane as GHG. SciAm amplifying a blog post citing a ‘climate scientist’ from EDF advocating making methane seem scarier. Not worth a bovine fart.

    • They mention GHG inventories are uncertain. Heh. Methane was growing fast until the mid-1990s, then stagnated for 10 years, then grew again but much more slowly than before…

      …and no one knows why.

      Now, there is no question the rise in CO2 levels is due to man-made emissions. But I haven’t seen that kind of discussion around methane. Anyone?

    • “…and no one knows why.” or even if it affects Climate

  10. Defining GMOs. Terrific article. Lays out all the technical complexities, and the scientific history. And the utter impossibility of doing without many versions of ‘GMO’. Liked the rennet cheesmaking example; puts a nice twist on ‘organic’ cheese. Most GMO opposed people also do not know that all insulin for diabetics is GMO. A bookmarked simple summary of another emotionally charged ‘wicked’ issue.

  11. The problem with science journalism: we’ve forgotten that reality matters most [link] …

    Andy Revkin says:“To me, it’s all about transparency.”

    And yet, when I post on his blog, the comments are uniformly deleted. I’m no loudmouth or climate campaigner, I comment on what he writes, and my comments are always deleted.

    The real problem with science writers are many fold:

    1) They really don’t understand science or the science they are to cover. Some, if not most, are journalism majors who bypassed science and mathematics precisely because they didn’t understand math or science and took survey courses. Many are young and naive. I know this from both personal experience and a professorial description by a well noted journalism school of a large academic/research institution.

    2) The second issue: It is all about sources and access to sources. If the science journalist writes in a negative tone about what a researcher says, they are then cut off from that source Journalists keep a “Rolodex” of resource people with whom they repeatedly query whether or not the researcher has any particular interest or expertise in the area in question.
    An editor’s maxium: don’t loose your source.

    3) Editors determine if a story gets published and, not only in what form, but also what the story says, emphasizes; the story’s “schtick”. The story has to be within the context of the newspaper’s editorial board: re: NYT; LAT and others who won’t allow “climate deniers” to comment/post.

    The worst I can say about Andy Revkin, is that he is “hollow” when he speaks of “transparency”. Watch what he does, not what he says.

    • “The problem with science journalism: we’ve forgotten that reality matters most”

      They probably need to go back to Stevenson versa the FRS on suffocation in their archives.

      So Victorian is todays ‘battles’. A reversion to roots for Science.

      • RichardLH

        Do you refer to Adlai Stevenson I, II, III or someone else?

        Roots for science?

        I fear I am left in the dust.

      • Stevenson as regards to early steam engines. The Fellow Royal Society at the time claimed that people would suffocate because the extra air pressure when travelling would not enable them to breath. Which side do you think won?

        A Modern parody of Victorian type todays warmist/sceptic argument

      • RiohardLH

        I must admit I require a windscreen while traveling 60 mph. While riding in the car, my dog does not protrude her nose outside the side window at 60 mph either. Such speeds, un-abated, “takes my breath away.” My experiences are from my past as a once motorcycle rider; i.e., observational data, anecdotal to be sure.

        As I understand the Fellow Royal Society and their stance on high speed travel, their point of view was purely speculative. No one at that time had traveled at that high of speed since horses were all that they knew. They couldn’t imagine how things could be anything else than what was “true” for themselves, although, there were observations of some very fast birds traveling at unheard of speeds.

        As to the current crop of science “know it all’s” particularly with regards to climate and those who report science to the lay public, there has evolved a certain symbiotic relationship between climate scientists and climate science journalists that tend to re-inforce one another’s survival; ala coral and their algae nutrition source. Coral without its algae leads to coral “bleaching”, making something free of color, of tone, in reality, no contrast so no visibility. You can’t see a white horse against a white background in bright light. In the Arctic it is called “snow blindness.” In NYC at the NYT, it is called: a Climate Science blog, Dot somethingorother.

      • “As I understand the Fellow Royal Society and their stance on high speed travel, their point of view was purely speculative.”

        The margin between their speculation and the current view on CO2 is yet to be proved.

  12. Report: Restrictions on free speech at American universities ‘is a national scandal’ [link]

    When Louis Farrakhan was invited by the Black Student Union and spoke at a public university uttering his racist, and anti-Semitic views, there was not a peep of protest. He was welcomed by the university and its administration. When a white supremacist group invited David Duke for a campus speech, No Can Do says the administration, adding, that such speech was hateful and disruptive to the academic experience. No need for students to hear such vitriol.

    Now I tell you, I am not a fan of either of these personages, but somebody was, and the university administration made a decision to accept one and not the other based upon…? …their political correctness.

    You can speak as long as you agree with me. That is all political correctness is in reality. Obama suppresses speech that is not to his liking, why can’t public universities suppress speech not to their liking?

    After all, Obama can act unilaterally and does. For the folks within the Democratic cocoon, and in public universities in particular, that’s all right too.

    I am glad there are people who are willing to sacrifice and fight this good fight of free speech. I fear, however, this issue of “free speech” and “safe spaces” within the public university system comes down to the prevailing politics of the states, and not of a Constitutional question.

    • I am in moderation for my comment on “free speech” and a university setting. Does the University’s Thought Police have an “in” with you Judith?

  13. Now the greenie NGOs are training animals to be alarmist trolls:


    They will be showing up here sooner or later. Maybe some already.

  14. Great op-ed in the FP, Judith, and most excellently titled.

  15. You may have heard of one Marc Jacobson of Stanford. His specialty is renewable energy and, well, basically he says we can just get rid of all our nuclear power plants and such.

    I generally don’t bother with this stuff, but someone does. Please DO read this – it drove me to tears.

    By the way, I’d never read this blog and it seems to have serious material on the energy topic, a bit like the one by Euan Mearns.

  16. Go Purdue!

  17. Paglia has been a favorite of mine for decades. Her interviews keep you on your toes.

    The other campus articles prompt another shameless plug for Kirsten Powers’s book “How the Left Is Killing Free Speech”. A Democratic operative, Powers hits on the absurdity of today’s liberal adolescent mentality that has been spawned by generations of coddling, self absorption and entitlement manifested in the current behavior on campus.

  18. Lot’s of vitriol in the comments section of the Financial Post. I’m surprised none of the denizens here are commenting over there. Seems like a good venue for spreading ideas to a wider audience…..

  19. The Scientific American article about Methane looks like EDF are trying to kill fraccing and make renewable energy as the only acceptable way of generating power. I wonder how long before EPA takes up the cause?

  20. Harnessing the ocean’s energy: Wave of the future for renewables? [link]

    I wonder if these people realize how much impact widespread deployment of wave energy would have on coastal ecosystems.

    Not that I’m against it personally, but it just ain’t gonna happen.

  21. I thought that Dr. Curry’s OP/ED was a very good synopsis of many issues — up to the final sentence: “it appears that the Paris agreement will turn out to be phenomenally expensive but ultimately futile in altering the course of the 21st century climate“.

    What’s the basis of this last statement? The financial part of COP21 is extremely fuzzy. If anything definitive exists, please link us to it.

    Many say it will mostly be just a re-labeling of existing foreign aid and Export/Import Bank & OECD actions (e.g., financing U.S. Nuclear technology abroad) as now climate change initiatives.

    Also, there are so many “Low Regrets” actions being proposed — such as “Fast Mitigation” (methane, smog, black carbon, HFCs).
    Dr.’s Molina (Nobel Prize) and Ramanathan say that reducing these “Short Lived Pollutants” can have tremendous impact on climate.

  22. The applicable ramification of photosynthesis is that CO2 is necessary for the initial step for all life on the planet and always has been. For life on land as we know it to have evolved there had to have been substantial CO2 in the atmosphere for more than 542 million years. If CO2 made the planet warmer it would have been doing it cumulatively for 542 million years. But average global temperature (AGT) has gone up and down over the eon. The only way this could consistently result is if CO2 has no effect on temperature and temperature change is caused by something else.

    Further discussion of the compelling evidence CO2 has no effect on AGT and identification of what has caused AGT change for at least the last 400 years are at http://agwunveiled.blogspot.com Only one input is needed or used and it is publicly available. The match is better than 97% since before 1900.

  23. richardswarthout

    Dr Curry

    On December 2nd, leading up to your senate testimony, I asked “Will you be discussing the IPCC Fingerprint method; resulting in, essentially, zero natural variability?” You replied, paraphrasing, not now but some day. Don’t want to be a nuisance but…are we there yet?

    Hope it is a great 2016 for you


  24. What I’ve learned –>

    This: So [x] “probably” causes cancer and “X” can be anything if it serves the interests of the Leftist-liberal establishment to say so.

  25. I would want to point to this interesting study about climate related societal crisis in the archeological past:

    “Climate challenges, vulnerabilities, and food security”

    They evaluated proxy records since about 600 AD. Although it may also be due to their methodology all examples they found were in the cooling phase of the LIA.

    My little reading about this subject so far also regularly seemed to show that all adverse civilizational impacts of climate change took place while temperatures cooled down.

    (Also interesting one proxy record that hints at less storminess in the MWP than today.)

  26. David Wojick

    I like your Financial Post op-ed, Judy. Just show them the data. FP readers are used to analyzing data (and spotting scams). Back in the days of Kyoto I did about 14 op-eds for FP. They are good people.

  27. Pat Michaels and I published a journal article summarizing our taxonomy of funding-induced biases. We used F1000Research because they first publish then do peer review and we have some case studies in the works so we needed to get the taxonomy out where we could cite it.

    See “A Taxonomy to Support the Statistical Study of Funding-induced Biases in Science” at http://f1000research.com/articles/4-886/v1.

    Interestingly the first review was very negative, but it did not even address our primary results. It was written by the folks at Retraction Watch, who are journalists, not scientists. You would think that they would welcome a taxonomy of biases. My guess is that they just do not like the libertarian Cato Institute.. In any case I wrote a reply rejecting their review.

  28. As mentioned above, Pat Michaels and I have submitted a case study of quantified bias to a journal. Here is the abstract:

    “Semantic analysis of U.S. Federal budget documents suggests that the climate science budget is heavily biased in favor of the paradigm of human-induced climate change. The competing paradigm of natural variability is barely mentioned. We call this bias “paradigm protection.” We develop a method to quantify this bias, a method with general applicability in bias research. We define sets of words that express core concepts for each paradigm. Then we measure the rates of occurrence of these words in the documents. The occurrence ratio we find is about 80 to one and is roughly constant across multiple documents, a clear indication of paradigm bias. This semantic approach can be used wherever there are competing paradigms in science.”

    In short the ratio of core pro-AGW centric words to natural variability centric words in the USGCRP 60 to 80 page research budget reports is about 80 to one. The natural variability words rarely occur. These are the annual reports to Congress on the $2.5 billion/year U.S. climate change research program, which is clearly biased in favor of AGW.

  29. The real problem with “science journalism”: it is an oxymoron.

    Science: a dog bites a man.
    Journalism: a man bites a dog.

    Science develops slowly. When a new discovery is made, it is uncertain. When it is proven, it is already old news.

    “Science communication” to public is even worse; it has been hijacked by the Left long ago.

  30. Judith wrote: “Looks like an important paper: How increasing CO2 leads to a negative greenhouse effect in Antarctica [link]”

    Analysis of the Schwarzschild eqn shows that the GHE only warms a planet when temperature decreases with altitude. For the upward flux of LWR (I) at any wavelength passing through an increment of altitude dz

    dI = emission – absorption
    dI = n*o*B(lambda,T)*dz – n*o*I*dz
    dI = n*o*[B(lambda,T)*dz – I]*dz

    where n is the density of GHG and o is the absorption cross-section. Upwelling LWR (I) arriving at a given altitude z usually has been emitted from a location that is warmer than at altitude z, so the [B(lambda,T)*dz – I] term is usually negative. This isn’t true at some wavelengths in the stratosphere (which cools with increasing CO2). Apparently someone has recognized that the unusual lapse rate in Antarctica means that it is also cooled by increasing GHGs.

    Increasing GHGs don’t warm without a positive lapse rate (dT/dz less than zero).

    • So, anytime and anywhere there’s a temperature inversion, ghgs don’t warm? No natural ghg effect either?

      • edimbukvarevic: Yes. Some people (including me) like to think of the GHE as the reduction in average upward flux of LWR from 390 W/m2 at the surface to 240 W/m2 at the top of the atmosphere. Along this path to space, the change in flux (dI) caused by passing through a layer of atmosphere (dz)

        dI = n*o*[B(lambda,T)*dz – I]*dz

        The sign of the change in upward flux dI depends on the sign of the [B(lambda,T)*dz – I] term. n is the density of GHG. When the term in brackets is negative, increasing n decreases the upward flux, increasing the GHE. If the term in brackets is positive, increasing the amount of GHG decreases the GHE. As radiation passing upwards through a temperature inversion more upward radiation is emitted than is absorbed. IF nothing else changed, the temperature of the air in the inversion layer would drop. (The 2LoT demands that heat flows from hot to cold and radiation is a form of heat.) In most cases, the upwelling flux, I, was emitted by a B(lambda,T) term at a warmer temperature than the local temperature.

        However, most absorption and emission occur in the troposphere and the lapse rate – on the average – in most of the troposphere is controlled by buoyancy-driven convection. The main exceptions are polar regions, the boundary layer (where thermal inversions develop at night), and at some weather fronts.

        dI = n*o*[B(lambda,T)*dz – I]*dz

  31. Is nuclear power going to save you from the climate non-crisis? Princeton researcher weighs in:


    • Hopefully Peter Lang will rebut this anti nuclear nonsense down thread

    • I suspect ybutt is one of those people who do drive-bys, throws fire-crackers in your lap, then runs away and hides. In a previous post he threw a few anti-nuke crackers, got thrashed in the responses, and ran away never to return and admit he was wrong – a clear sign of intellectual dishonesty: http://judithcurry.com/2013/04/20/10-signs-of-intellectual-honesty/

      I and others refuted his last comments and he never replied. I had done more work in response to his last disingenuous assertion, but there was no point in posting it if he wan’t prepared to respond and acknowledge when he’s wrong. So, I’ll post it below.

      Ybutt asserted (disingenuously, misleadingly and incorrectly) @ http://judithcurry.com/2016/01/01/a-war-against-fire/#comment-755618:

      If you want to talk economics: Nuclear power industry would not survive without the Price-Anderson Act which subsidizes their insurance. The nuclear power industry cannot afford to buy insurance on the open market — they require a government handout to even survive.

      This comment is disingenuous. Only nuclear would survive if all technologies had to pay for the fatalities they cause. To understand this let’s estimate how much should society subsidise nuclear, or penalize other electricity generators, to compensate equally so all technologies pay for the fatalities they cause? Viewed another way, how much would we need to subsidise nuclear to reward the comparatively higher safety of nuclear power?

      The answer from my quick, back of an envelope calculation is we should subsidise nuclear by $140/MWh to substitute for coal-fired generation and $37/MWh to substitute for gas fired generation in the USA. Much higher in developing countries. With those subsidies, nuclear would be “too cheap to meter”; but since the subsidies would exceed the cost of production of nuclear power, we’d need to meter consumption in order to pay the consumers around $50/MWh instead of them paying the power company! :)

      Inputs used for the estimate:

      1. Value of a Statistical Life (VSL) in USA = $9.4 million (2015, https://www.transportation.gov/sites/dot.gov/files/docs/VSL2015_0.pdf )

      2. Fatalities per TWh (Source Forbes in http://nextbigfuture.com/2012/06/deaths-by-energy-source-in-forbes.html )

      Coal electricity, world avg = 60 (50% of electricity)
      Coal electricity, China = 90
      Coal, U.S. = 15 (44% U.S. electricity)
      Natural Gas = 4 (20% global electricity)
      Solar (rooftop) = 0.44 (0.2% global electricity)
      Wind = 0.15 (1.6% global electricity)
      Hydro, global average = 1.4 (15% global electricity)
      Nuclear, global average = 0.09 (12% global electricity w/Chern&Fukush)

      3. USA TWh per technology in 2014 (source EIA) https://www.eia.gov/electricity/monthly/epm_table_grapher.cfm?t=epmt_1_1

      Coal = 1,581,710
      Natural gas = 1,126,609
      Nuclear = 797,166
      Hydro = 259,367
      Solar = 17,691
      Other renewables = 261,522


      If each technology was required to pay insurance or compensation for the annual cost of fatalities caused by that technology, the amounts they would have to pay per MWh are:

      Technology $/MWh
      Coal 141
      Natural gas 38
      Hydro 13
      Solar 4
      Nuclear 1

      Or, if each industry is not penalized, society should subsidise nuclear $140/MWh to substitute for coal and 37/MWh to substitute for natural gas generation.

      • Where does all the waste end up and how should it be stored for thousands of years? Any idea on how long before Fukushima, is ready to allow the property owners back?

      • Arch,

        RE: “Where does all the waste end up and how should it be stored for thousands of years? Any idea on how long before Fukushima, is ready to allow the property owners back?”

        Managing waste from nuclear power plants is pretty much child’s play. Commercial operators have managed to deal with it for 60 years, in spite of the government’s failure to provide a long term storage facility (in violation of Federal law). Meanwhile technology has come up with an alternative solution (the child’s play part). Dry Cask Storage. You can literally stick these things in the desert, put a chain link fence around them and hire a few locals to drive the fence line as security. About the only thing to worry about is if the storage lot gets hit by a near earth orbiting body (meteor) or perhaps a nuclear warhead. In either case we will have far bigger things to worry about that what happens to the spent fuel.

        We don’t have to store it at all, as it is mostly recyclicable.

        As for how long before residents can return to their homes around Fukishima, it should first be noted that most of them no longer have homes. They were destroyed by the tsunami. The answer is mostly a political one, or a psychological one, not a human health one. Most of the people living around Chernobyl have returned to their land. The answer is when they want to and when the government allows them to. Most could return home tomorrow if it was just their health and well being that was the issue.

      • Once they voted on the promise.


        Would they pass today? Knowing what they do.

      • And the answer is?

        Question: The last dry cask has been placed, the fence is up, the locals have been hired. It is now a thousand years later, what are the locals being paid per hour and by whom?

      • Well, the waste issue isn’t that easy…

        The WIPP accident illustrated that controls are needed at the low/medium level preprocessing sites. They need to ban all organics (the cause of the WIPP problem) no organic kitty litter, no organic filler, no organic fruits and vegetables, no organic milk. All organics should be banned from the preprocessing centers.

        High level waste is a different issue but isn’t hard if you approach it correctly.


        High level waste has been successfully vitrified. Converting waste into 30 gallon sized drum shaped ceramic balls that are wrapped in a couple of layers with a stainless steel candy shell is a pretty reasonable solution.

        Just find a deep mine, make vaults, spray the walls with sealant, fill the vaults, seal the vaults, That’s it.

        If you like you can back fill the corridors when you are done.

        At that point you remove the surface elevator, seal the top and walk away.

        All of the arguments about guarding the waste, leakage, etc. are simple zohnerism.


        There is over 16.2 metric tons of radioactive material in every 1 square mile by 1 foot piece of dirt. 653 GBq. Dirt averages around 400 Bq/kilogram. That is why basement radium is such a problem. The planet was formed from supernova debris and is quite hot radiologically..

        The claim that ceramized waste buried over a mile down will cause an appreciable (or even noticeable) surface problem is sort of silly. .

        And the heavy equipment needed to get to the buried waste is a little hard to hide. And then you have to melt and separate the material from the ceramic. Guarding it would seem to be overkill.

        High waste isn’t hard if you are sensible.

      • Management of nuclear fuel indefinitely amount to about $1/MWh. It’s trivial.

        Now, tell me what it would cost to contain and manage indefinitely the wastes from other technologies (on a life cycle analysis basis)?

        Only nuclear contains and manages it’s waste. No other technology does.

      • Peter Lang | January 8, 2016 at 6:13 pm |
        Management of nuclear fuel indefinitely amount to about $1/MWh. It’s trivial.

        Now, tell me what it would cost to contain and manage indefinitely the wastes from other technologies (on a life cycle analysis basis)?

        Only nuclear contains and manages it’s waste. No other technology does.

        You need to make a distinction between waste and used fuel. About 96% of the energy value remains in used fuel. The DOE-China relationship is a good indication that the DOE style reactor will get tested as a commercial prototype (let alone that India is working on thorium reactors). China is certain to build breeders on a massive scale so between breeders and possibly LFTR reactors there will be a home for used fuel. 30 years from now used fuel may be scarce and selling at a premium.

      • PA,

        I replied to you earlier comment where you said:

        “Well, the waste issue isn’t that easy…”

        I replied:

        Management of nuclear fuel indefinitely amount to about $1/MWh. It’s trivial.

        Now, tell me what it would cost to contain and manage indefinitely the wastes from other technologies (on a life cycle analysis basis)?

        Only nuclear contains and manages it’s waste. No other technology does.

        All correct. Burt if you want to be pedantic the $1/MWh is the cost to manage used fuel (including final disposal of waste) forever.

        Why start of by making a smart ass statement? I simply don’t bother to read your comments any further if you start with some intentionally annoying comment.

    • Arch Staunton,

      All this information is well publicised on authoritative web sites. Before I waste time explaining answers to anti nukes who are not interested in the answers. please tell me if you are an anti-nuke, are you genuinely interested in learning?

      In short, management of once used nuclear fuel is not a serious technical issue, it is a political issue. The cost of used fuel and nuclear fuel waste management is trivial at about $1/MWh. That is the total cost of permanent management.

      Fukushima killed no one and is unlikely to ever kill anyone. Compare that with other industries. However, the evacuation caused over a thousand lives. If you are genuinely interested, you’ll consider question before asking them so you properly compare across industries.

      Consider the comment I posted above and compare the fatalities per TWh of electricity produced by different technologies. Blocking nuclear is causing many of avoidable fatalities per year – if nuclear replaced coal electricity generation over night it would avoid 1.3 million fatalities per year.

    • ybutt,

      Notice the author’s affilation – He is a member of the Coalition for Nuclear Disarmament and Peace.

      If he is of the opinion that commercial nuclear power generation is a primary (or at least significant) cause for weapons proliferation, then don’t you think he might be motivated by things other than facts?

      Both the proliferation and the waste issues are wildly exaggerated. The article is correct on closures of US nuclear plants. The reason? Natural gas has become so cheap that nuclear is starting to be at a disadvantage from an operating cost perspective. A lot could be done to lower the cost of nuclear. High cost and long lead times to construct are due to regulatory and policy positions and not due to any ingrained technical challenges or difficulties. You can’t name an industry with a better safety record. Almost 60 years of commercial operation in the US and no fatalities.

      • timg56,

        Agreed. Thanks for pointing out ybutt’s anti-nuke affiliation. And how dishonest that he didn’t mention it when he said he is a “nuclear physicist”. What reprehensible moral values those guys have.

        timg56, I wonder if you could comment on the following:

        If nuclear had been receiving the same subsidies per MWh and regulatory incentives (e.g. ‘must take’) as non-hydro renewables have been receiving for decades, there would be no weather-dependent renewables, nuclear would be much lower cost than it is (perhaps half), and would have continued its accelerating growth rate experienced in the 1960-80s. It would now be supplying some 25% of global electricity supply and growing at an ever accelerating rate. Nuclear would be much safer (‘learning by doing’ similar to the factor of 1000 improvement in the safety of aviation since 1960). Global CO2 emissions from electricity would be some 10% to 20 % lower than they are and on a much faster trajectory to reduce emissions from now on.

        And hundreds of thousands of fatalities would be avoided per year. The anti nukes like ybutt have a lot to answer for. Their moral values are repugnant. They should hang their head in shame.

      • Peter,

        That isn’t ybutt’s affiliation. It is the author of the article he links to. And I see nothing “reprehensible” in what he (ybutt) has said here. Just because someone disagrees with you and I on one issue (viability of commercial nuclear generation) doesn’t mean they are reprehensible or st@pid. One of the commenters I enjoy most and believe is one of the sharpest here is Dave Springer. That he is so far afield from the factual world on nuclear doesn’t change my respect for his opinions. I simply choose to ignore him on that subject.

        Regarding you request for comment:

        I’m not well versed in subsidy data. I generally do not argue against current subsidies for renewables due to knowing that commercial nuclear power owed its existence to billions of federal dollars spent on the development of controlled fission and later on engineering and design of nuclear reactors for the Navy. Maybe not direct subsidies to utilities, but subsidies none the less.

        Instead I would rather focus on those obstacles which currently shackle commercial nuclear. Top among these is regulatory encumbrance based on unsubstantiated fear. As I have stated many times, there is no other industry with as good of a safety record as commercial nuclear. And when considering carbon free generation, there is currently nothing on the table that can compare. Of course the “carbon free” condition is mostly artificial. In the real world low cost natural gas is out competing nuclear. Can removal of overburdensome regulation help on that front? Probably. Would placing a cost on carbon help? Probably. Would a cost based on number of lives per MWh? Without a doubt.

      • That isn’t ybutt’s affiliation. It is the author of the article he links to. And I see nothing “reprehensible” in what he (ybutt) has said here. Just because someone disagrees with you and I on one issue (viability of commercial nuclear generation) doesn’t mean they are reprehensible or st@pid. One of the commenters I enjoy most and believe is one of the sharpest here is Dave Springer. That he is so far afield from the factual world on nuclear doesn’t change my respect for his opinions. I simply choose to ignore him on that subject.

        Fair point. I didn’t check and simply accepted the comment that ybutt was a nuclear physicists and part of the anti-nuke group. If that is not the case I retract my comment and apologise to ybutt.

        It would be helpful if y butt could clear this up and perhaps enter a brief bio on the ‘Denizens’ thread, including explaining his interests, background, expertise and relevant affiliations (e.g. with anti-hike groups if that is the case).

      • David Springer


        One of the commenters I enjoy most and believe is one of the sharpest here is Dave Springer. That he is so far afield from the factual world on nuclear doesn’t change my respect for his opinions. I simply choose to ignore him on that subject.

        Thanks but you confuse my pragmatism on nukes with being out of touch. You should recall as well as I the promises in 1960’s of nuclear power making electricity “too cheap to meter it”. I’m still waiting. Wake me when it gets there and don’t give me schit in the meantime for being disappointed and pessimistic. I earned the attitude the hard way. I’ll probably be taking a dirt nap by then but they’ll probably figure out how to resurrect people before they figure out how to make nuclear power cheap, safe, and abundant.

      • David Springer


        One of the commenters I enjoy most and believe is one of the sharpest here is Dave Springer. That he is so far afield from the factual world on nuclear doesn’t change my respect for his opinions. I simply choose to ignore him on that subject.

        Thanks but you confuse my pragmatism on nukes with being out of touch. You should recall as well as I the promises in 1960’s of nuclear power making electricity “too cheap to meter it”. I’m still waiting. Wake me when it gets there and don’t give me schit in the meantime for being disappointed and pessimistic. I earned the attitude the hard way. I’ll probably be taking a dirt nap by then but they’ll probably figure out how to resurrect people before they figure out how to make nuclear power cheap, safe, and abundant.

      • Dave,

        If you are saying your views on commercial nuclear power are based on their failure to live up to early predictions, then I can understand that. I would note that the storyline of “to cheap to meter” was more of a marketing ploy than a realistic projection. If we turn our backs on every overblown marketing claim there won’t be anything we believe in. Using that as a justification to discard nuclear as a source of energy sounds rather foolish, even petulant.

        Did nuclear live up to its early promise? No.
        Is the existing plant design in use the most desirable? No (it’s 1960’s and 70’s technology).
        Are there improved designs available? Yes.
        Is nuclear generation inherently more dangerous than any other form of generation? The operating record to date supports an emphatic no.

        I haven’t seen a single specific criticism of nuclear power that wasn’t disproved by fact.

      • David Springer

        I’m not saying we should discard nuclear power. I’m saying we shouldn’t pin our hopes on it. I don’t see what’s changed that the picture should suddenly be different than it was in 1970. What’s changed? Where are the experimental reactors that prove commercial viability?

      • David Springer,

        I’m saying we shouldn’t pin our hopes on it [nuclear].

        Why not? What would you advocate to pin your hopes on? What’s proven to be safer, cheaper way to reduce GHG emissions, able to supply most of electricity and sustainable effectively indefinitely? Certainly not wind and solar!

      • Water of the Word and Christ. You still have a problem Peter? He says he is in control. Enjoy the rest of your life. What will that set you back? I can say that faith in Him, is available for free to boot.

      • David,

        “I’m not saying we should discard nuclear power. I’m saying we shouldn’t pin our hopes on it. ”

        Fair enough. I don’t believe it a good idea to pin our generation on any one or two technologies. I would like to see nuclear developed at least to the point where its percentage (in the US) has flipped with that of coal. a mix. 40% nuke ; 25% NG ; 20% coal ; 6% hydro ; 6% wind with the rest other. Wind could be developed to the 10 – 15% range, perhaps up to 20%. I see solar primarily as a means to shave off load growth.

        This should carry us to the point new technologies come on line, like that photosynthesis process you’ve mentioned in the past.

        I happen to be a fan of the small modular reactor design. I believe it offers the possibility of building nuke plants much in the same way gas turbine peaking units are deployed.

  32. Continuing comments on: “Looks like an important paper: How increasing CO2 leads to a negative greenhouse effect in Antarctica [link]”

    Nevertheless, the authors of this paper (Schmithüsen (2015)) pledge their loyalty to the IPCC: “It is important to note that these results do not contradict the key statements of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) [Solomon et al., 2007; Ramaswamy et al., 2001; IPCC, 2013], namely, the well-known warming effect that CO2 has on the Earth’s climate. Yet we showed that for the cold Antarctic continent some care needs to be taken when discussing the direct warming effect of CO2.

    However, the SPM for AR5 says: “For Antarctica, large observational uncer- tainties result in low confidence that anthropogenic forcings have contributed to the observed warming averaged over available stations.”

    This statement was based on Steig (2009), which was rebutted by O’Donnell, McIntyre et al (2010) – ignored by the IPCC. http://climateaudit.org/2011/12/13/ar5-loves-steig-et-al-2009/

    Schmithüsen (2015) continues with the vast amount of evidence suggesting that climate change in Antarctica was uncertain: “Earlier studies with general circulation models (GCMs) have also shown the comparably small effect of increasing CO2 on the LW flux at the top of atmosphere emitted to space above Antarctica [Shine and Forster, 1999; Hansen et al., 2005], but they neither show a cooling effect nor give an explanation for this and its climatic relevance. We have compared BSRN surface measurements of broadband LW upward fluxes from South Pole with model estimates of this quantity compiled for the fifth IPCC assessment report (fifth phase of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project), analogue to the comparisons reported by Wild et al. [2012]. This comparison shows that GCMs tend to overestimate the surface temperature. Specifically, 18 of the 21 GCMs report a higher (0.8 to 25.8 W/m2) LW emission from the surface than the BSRN measurements, whereas the other three models report a lower (1.3 to 7.2 W/m2) surface emission. This suggests that current GCMs tend to overestimate the surface temperature at South Pole, due to their difficulties in describing the strong temperature inversion in the boundary layer. Therefore, GCMs might underestimate a cooling effect from increased CO2, due to a bias in the surface temperature.”

    In its efforts to claim that global warming extends to Antarctica and therefore could cause a catastrophic rise in SLR, the IPCC and other supporters of the consensus continue to – as Schneider said –

    “to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements, and make little mention of any doubts we might have”.

    The increase in Antarctic sea ice makes one wonder if the inverse GHE effect calculated for the South Pole (Figure 3) extends all the way to the coast. The calculations for 4XCO2 in Figure 5 suggest not. Unfortunately, both figures deal only with TOA OLR, not with the surface radiative imbalance (OLR-DLR). Globally the surface radiative imbalance is about 390-333 W/m2, but it would be very interesting to see what it everywhere in Antarctica and how it changes with CO2.

    • “…..pledge their loyalty to the IPCC….”

      Another way of saying that is paying tribute such a s was done to the Godfather, Tony Saprano and Paulie Cicero. Not that I’m suggesting anything as distasteful as getting ones knees whacked, but when the survivability of the global population is at stake, true believers don’t need much motivation.
      I’ve seen this kind of language in papers many times. The subtext of their wording was very clear. “Hey guys, don’t blame me.”

    • Geoff Sherrington

      One of the first blog comments I made, about 2007, asked if in Antarctica one felt colder or warmer when a cloud moved to obscure the sun. Still no answer.
      The present GRL paper is interesting on several fronts, including the reasons why people researching the Antarctic in the last decade did not publicise the cooling then observed. The GRL paper’s mechanism is really quite simple.

  33. Update on Antarctic sea ice:

    NASA Study: Mass Gains of Antarctic Ice Sheet Greater than Losses


    • “Update on Antarctic sea ice:”

      Its big, high, remote and badly sampled. Anything we know is only from the last few decades really. As we know there is a 60 year ‘cycle’ in the North, I would be surprised if there wasn’t a similar one in the South somewhere.

    • ybutt | January 3, 2016 at 3:09 pm
      “Update on Antarctic sea ice:”

      That paper does not refer to the Antarctic sea ice, it refers to the ice cap which covers the land.

  34. Professor Nils-Axel Mörner has published a paper in the Journal of Religious Studies, Buddhism and Living entitled: The New Religion of Global Warming and its Misconception in Science.” – See more at:


    • Pin this to yer door
      ye IPCC body doctrinaire.
      CAGW from logarithmic CO2
      – so much hot air.

      • Beth,

        I though of the “The Man From Snowy River” this morning. I used to be able to recite it in full when I was a young fella, but not any more. But I do remember:

        “There was movement at the station, for the word had passed around
        That the colt from old Regret had got away,
        And had joined the wild bush horses—he was worth a thousand pound,
        So all the cracks had gathered to the fray.
        All the tried and noted riders from the stations near and far
        Had mustered at the homestead overnight,
        For the bushmen love hard riding where the wild bush horses are,
        And the stockhorse snuffs the battle with delight.”

        I hope you might complete this and enlighten the world with more of Banjo Paterson’s poems in 2016 :)

      • Now, Peter, that’s a big ask … though I used ter be
        Beth the cowgirl. :)

      • I don’t understand. You once told me that turning South America 20 degrees was not a big ask of a Serf.

      • Nevah hold a serf ter what they’ve said in the past.
        Consistency’s fer toffs and genuine scientists ‘n
        engineers subject ter Hammurabi rules like you, Peter.

  35. Judith
    following through one of your links, I found this about carpet bombing FOIA requests which may be of relevance to you

  36. stevenreincarnated

    A paper showing that simulations indicate there have been variations in the AMOC during the last half of the 20th century


    A paper with a real eye catcher in the abstract

    “The temperature of the Earth increases significantly with the CO2 concentration. While doubling the concentration of CO2, the temperature of the Earth increases by 0.4 K.”

    They say more warming in the future so I’ll have to track down the full paper when I have time.


  37. That Camille Paglia interview was genius. “drearily puritanical”…. could have taken he words right out of my mouth..

  38. Regarding Free Speech, I’ve seen Judith opine that Obama is a great guy in that he is a free speech proponent, most recently with regards to the horrendous PCism evident in elite universities.

    Here is what Steyn has to say about Obama’s free speech:

    “On the Is-Obama-a-Muslim? front, Sean noted that this line was not so subtly promoted by Hillary in 2008 – although Obama has certainly done his best to live up to it, championing Sharia over the First Amendment by declaring to the United Nations in 2012 that “the future shall not belong to those who slander the Prophet of Islam”.


    Note, I like Mark Steyn’s strict view on free speech, which I take to mean “If you don’t allow it, all that is left as a recourse is violence.”

    Oddly, I have 3 writers/bloggers that I regularly read: Judith Curry, Megan McCardle, and Mark Steyn. I include this because I think all three are sane people in a world filled with insanity.

  39. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2015GL066749/full

    Re global temperature variance from computer models

    The bigger task is to reconcile global surface temperatures a la NOAA 2015 and the RSS/UAH/Radiosonde measurements. These datasets are diverging every day. The models say this should not be happening and if the satellite data can be said to be consistent – even if you don’t like the values or what it is actually measuring – the disconnect in trends at a global level is very, very disturbing.

    There is a recent report (noted above) on temperatures in Antarctica that says CO2 increases cause MORE IR emissions in Antarctica, thereby cooling that area. But the data used is satellite. It will be interesting to see if the CAGW crowd uses this study to support the CO2 “climate change” narrative without admitting that the satellite data underpinning it is the same data that is NOT used by NOAA to tell the American President or people what is going on.

    A conference on reconciling station-based vs satellite measurements? Imagine the fight, even worse than measured temperatures vs proxy/tree ring estimates.

    Who knew that bulbs with red alcohol and men with pencils and squinty eyes were more accurate and precise than the product of NASA and the 21st century space age? Makes me want to find my old slide-rule and throw away my Texas Instrument TI-30XA.

    • Geoff Sherrington

      Yes, the Antarctic paper has models and satellite data and one needs to be cautious – until you see and think about the rather different OLR spectrum that they show from above the Antarctic.
      Then it all looks so logical.
      But the climate models seem to want to convert many things to a surface temperature basis, when they should be looking at equi-temperature atmospheric imaginary surfaces where the picture can be brought together in a better way to look at global effects.
      Rather like Davis Evans was doing through 2015 at the Jo Nova site.

  40. After reading the Twitter article re 2440 new coal plants planned around the world, if global warming really is a more pressing danger than I-S-I-S then, who is going to provide the boots on the ground that are needed to put down the all of the globe-killers before the impending catastrophe as predicted by academia’s climate models?

    • “After reading the Twitter article re 2440 new coal plants planned around the world”

      Politics is about what you can claim., not what you can deliver. That’s the next parliament/election. :-)

  41. David Springer

    “Looks like an important paper: How increasing CO2 leads to a negative greenhouse effect in Antarctica”

    CO2 actually cools the dryest place on the planet instead of warming it.

    Very interesting.

  42. David Wojick

    Speaking of biased science, I just ran across NSF’s so-called Research Overview for climate change:

    Here is how it starts: “Weather changes all the time. The average pattern of weather, called climate, usually stays the same for centuries if it is undisturbed. However, Earth is not being left alone. People are taking actions that can change Earth and its climate in significant ways. Carbon dioxide is the main culprit. Burning carbon-containing “fossil fuels” such as coal, oil and gas has a large impact on climate because it releases carbon dioxide gas into the atmosphere.”

    So climate does not change for centuries? Hogwash. And this from the top US science agency.

    No wonder they are not funding research on long term natural variability. They claim it does not exist! They do fund research on short term variability, because short term variability messes up the pro-AGW modeling.

    • good find

      • Curious George

        We can do better than merely to postulate that the natural variability does not exist. We can outlaw it – and all its proponents.

    • It’s climate change denial. They have been projecting it on skeptics all this time.

    • David,
      You could say like NSF; ““Weather changes all the time. The average pattern of weather, called climate, usually stays the same for centuries if it is undisturbed…”
      and be perfectly accurate could you not?


    • Averages hide a lot of detail.
      For example, 50 is the average of 49 and 51, but it’s also the average of 0 and 100, or 30, 60 and 60, or untold other combinations – each of which paint a very different picture.

      • As I did mention elsewhere. Difference figures are needed as well as Sum/2 = tMean. Ask down the corridor in Power Engineering. They will agree.

    • David

      They have thermometers dating back centiries that illustrate that the climate regularly changes and good Proxies such as glacier movements. The met office used to believe in the constancy of climate until they were reeducated a few years ago and now accept natural variability as a fact ( as they used to)

      However when I met up wth Richard Betts he confirmed they carrid out very little rsearch into longer term natural variability as the considerable budgets needed for primary research could not be justified. CRU also does not carry out Much research into long term natural variability these days. I think the hey day was during the early Years of CrU when first Hubert lamb then Phil jones were highly enthusiastic .


    • If left undisturbed… my Great Great Grandfather grew corn and raised mules on his farm in 1836. The Hittite could have done the same thing. Today they’re growing corn.

      • JCH,
        sounds like “corn” is not bothered by your wish to view the world’s climate as “being disturbed”

      • Are you a professional at going to the ridiculous? It is, so far, undisturbed by long term natural. My Grandmother’s farm is in a dot that is supposedly going to be one of the hottest places in America in 2100.

      • stevenreincarnated

        Hittites are an odd pick. Must be an ancient history lover. They didn’t have corn of course but I believe they had chariots before the Egyptians did.

      • JCH,
        quoting you “my Great Great Grandfather grew corn in 1836….they’re growing corn”. I believe you have been saying all along that we have already seen great change (disturbance). No, I am not going to the ridiculous, I am simply noting the paradox of your stance.

      • JCH: The Hittite could have done the same thing. Today they’re growing corn.

        I am guessing that you meant “Hutterites”.

      • Matthew

        I will be bitterly disappointed if jch did mean that. I had assumed he meant the Hittites from what is now modern day Turkey and who vied with Egypt for regional power. A good example of a region where constantly changing climate is well evidenced. Come on jch, confirm you meant the Hittites! but then you have to explain WHY you referenced them


      • Still into the moonshine?

      • “Corn is thought to have originated somewhere in Mexico, though the wild form is extinct. As far as we know, the native people then domesticated corn, which became the most important cultivated plant in ancient America, used by the native North Americans and Incas in the Andes of South America.”

      • I meant the Hittites, if they had come to American in their day, would have been able to grow crops on that farm land as it is among the best farm land in Missouri.

      • Mathew – my Dad’s ranch in the Dakotas ended up with the Hutterites.

      • JCH,
        I would assume you appreciate the extreme “Natural” temperature changes in the Earth’s Climate, from deep raw temperature anomalies to warm ones, that has produced that superior farm land that the Iowans, Illinoisans, and you fellow Missourians, etc (the Bread Basket of the US) enjoy. Lots of it because of glaciers having generate that such good till (NOT when humans were living there!) and now we have such wonderful, livable, temperatures and CO2 to utilize that which Nature in “her” extremes has given you and all mankind.

      • Joel Williams,

        Excellent point. But even more important is to note that even now, in an interglacial, we are in unusually cold times for planet Earth. For 75% of the past 600 million years there has been no ice at the poles. We are in cold times and warmer times are good for life on planet Earth. There is nothing catastrophic about warming, even if it does happen, and that is certainly not assured. We are past the peak of the current interglacial and we’d be in a cooling trend if not for humans’ wisdom and excellent risk management of deciding to increase the insulation around the planet by a minute amount. :)

      • The fact that we get info for the past 360,000 years from the Vostok ICE Cores would indicate that there was ICE there. Remember that what was UPON the land in those ICE Ages was Ocean water whose level dropped 100+meters. BIG NATURAL CHANGES Earth’s Water distribution with time and temperature!

      • Joel Williams,

        Is your comment a reply to mine? If so, you may have missed the time scale I mentioned. You mentioned 360,000 years of ice cores. But this is during a particularly cold period in the past 600 million years, In fact it is only the third time in 600 million years that the planet has been in a coldhouse phase. We’ve been cooling for the past 50 million years to get to the cold time we are currently in. This is a long term cooling trend. We are also in a cooling trend towards the next glacial maximum, some 80,000 years from now. I said:

        For 75% of the past 600 million years there has been no ice at the poles.

      • Peter, ready to predict if earth will EVAH have another period when the poles will be complete free of ICE again? Yes, your time-scale is far wider than the one I quoted. Forever cooling?? More thermal ups and downs on the primary slide to uninhabitable cold?

        JCH, so you can appreciate what earth’s “drastic natural thermal cycles” do to create our “livable” environmental!

      • Joel Williams,

        I am not sure I fully understand your incomplete sentences, but I’ll answer this:

        Peter, ready to predict if earth will EVAH have another period when the poles will be complete free of ICE again?

        Yes. Almost 100% certainty. The planet is in a cold house phase because of the position of the tectonic plates. primarily because South and North America are joined. This will change in future. Have a look at a plate tectonics paleomap project that shows past plate movements and where they are heading for the next 100 million years or so.

    • Usually stays the same for centuries… so the glaciers covered my Dakota home around how many centuries ago? And it was just one side. I grew up right on the edge of a glacier cut. To the east, flat and rich soils; to the west, hilly and rocky pasture land – beyond the reach of nature’s road grader.

      Generally when somebody says centuries, they could be referring to up to a millennium or two, maybe three.

    • The natural cycles you are talking about have nothing at all to do with this NSF statement:

      Weather changes all the time. The average pattern of weather, called climate, usually stays the same for centuries if it is undisturbed. However, Earth is not being left alone. People are taking actions that can change Earth and its climate in significant ways. …

  43. JC,
    I liked your article in the financial times. I believe you are the one voice that likes to ‘keep it real’ and I think it has enhanced your staying power. You often use this statement in your comments; “If the warming since 1950 was caused by humans, what caused the warming during the period 1910-1945? In fact, the period 1910-1945 comprises over 40 per cent of the warming since 1900, but is associated with only 10 per cent of the carbon dioxide increase since 1900. Clearly, human emissions of greenhouse gases played little role in causing this early warming. The mid-century period of slight cooling from 1945 to 1975 – referred to as the “grand hiatus” – also has not been satisfactorily explained.” I believe this is still accurate however the recent article you posted gave me pause (pun intended) and made me wonder if it can be explained.

    Vaughan Pratt posted and article ‘natural-climate-variability-during-1880-1950-a-response-to-shaun-lovejoy’. I asked him;

    “This is the part I don’t understand:

    “But it would also appear that SL’s claim is just as strongly borne out,
    provided he limits it to past 1950.”

    I can easily (and believably) see that your plot shows this to be true but how can one dismiss the strength of solar cycles during that same period?

    Secondly, If natural variability had something to do with temperature rise before 1950 why would it suddenly disappear after? It’s not logical.

    His reply:



    I know that is not a scientific paper but it does seem to go a long way in explaining things?

  44. 2015 is over, and since it is ‘science’ that is being reviewed here is my contribution to this thread.
    So, how did sun, the most likely culprit for ‘the pause’, do in 2015?
    It’s performance is well down on 2014.
    In the illustration you may have noticed some green coloured items.
    In 2003 I devised the above formula which is suppose to track solar activity based on the sunspot count. When it was extrapolated couple of decades forward it ‘forecast’ SC24 max on the annual count to peak at approximately 80. Since 2015 SSN count is just above 49, we could assume (at least for the time being) that the 2014 count of 79.2 is the SC24’s annual SSNmax.
    The extrapolation, came so close, well beyond any of my expectation.
    Perhaps it is worth reminding the readers that even some 3-4 years later, the NASA’s top experts were forecasting for SC24 to be strongest ever (SSN in 200s), and yes, NASA was made aware of my formula at the time. It should be also mentioned that couple of years later (I think in 2005) Dr. L. Svalgaard (solar scientist from Stanford University), using totally different method forecast for SC24 SSNmax 70 (+ or – a small margin ) if I remember correctly.

  45. So who wants to place a stake in the ground and want to refute the claim that the current UAH and RSS data does not show an apparent half cycle of the known 60 year cycle in the data. It MUST be CO2, right? No natural ‘cycles’ that matter can possibly be there.

    • First, show your source for the “No natural ‘cycles’ that matter can possibly be there.

    • First answer the observation. It can be considered that the UAH/RSS are displaying the first half of a 60 year cycle. Fits the observed data quite well.
      In order for it to be considered as the rising slope all are claiming you first have to disprove that observation (in total otherwise you need to add some weighting).

      So is it half a 60 year cycle or not? And why?

      • The AMO is temperature; RSS is temperature.

        It does not follow the PDO; it should have been following the PDO. Why isn’t it following the PDO?

      • David Springer

        “It can be considered that the UAH/RSS are displaying the first half of a 60 year cycle. Fits the observed data quite well.”

        Ya think? I made the observation in 2007 that the satellite MSU era happened to begin (1979) on the warming side of the AMDO and that it had already gone flat (apex) and would be on the cooling side going forward. And then 5 more years elapsed and “the pause” was finally acknowledged.

        It’s easier to spot now than 9 years ago, innit? One might even say child’s play. Loehle & Scafetta (2011) do a bang up job teasing it out and finding what they believe are two residual linear trends, one man-made and one natural.


        L&S 2011, for the past 5 years now, has made the best prediction I’ve seen. I praised it at the time and have mentioned it often ever since. The big test will be how well it holds up under assault by El Nino.

      • So Richard, what is your source for your claim that ““No natural ‘cycles’ that matter can possibly be there.”?

        The AMO makes complete fools of a lot of people.

      • David Springer

        “The AMO makes complete fools of a lot of people.”

        Yup. All of them warmunists!

      • “So Richard, what is your source for your claim that ““No natural ‘cycles’ that matter can possibly be there.”?”

        If you read carefully, I am asking you disprove that statement. Not prove it. What weighting do you apply to any possible 60 year cycle? 0?

      • I would say I agree with you. For the period, RSS appears to have been boosted by the positive ramp up phase of the PDO, and depressed by the ramp-down phase of the PDO. As reinforcement, in the current ramp-up phase of the PDO, RSS appears poised to respond accordingly – up, up and through the clouds.

      • If you pardon me that was not the question. You can assign 0,0 as your weighting term if you like. That’s all CO2. You can assign 1,0 also, that’s a vote for all 60 year cycle and no CO2.. You can pitch it somewhere in the middle and make the current OLS trend nonsense. So chose. Now for a sneak peak at the year ahead. Put your stake down and get your excuses ready. On your marks, set, go

      • Considering the “scatter” in the values about the polynomial trend (plot below), it seems that one will have a tough time evaluating any of this (warming or cooling) in anything less than 30-year increments. Assuming we might be midway through an upper bound (I believe that JCH would have it be a “possible” inflection before the great demon rises from the Pacific) to scorch the earth, 2030 (15-years from now) looks like the next real point of determining just what is happening – not this or next year. Looks to me like too many are focusing on 1-5-year outlooks (4-years for congress!) with ups or downs cited to fit their position.

      • Except… I have the perfectly congruent behavior during the ramps and ramp down of the PDO from 1910 to 1985. It’s a complex, nonlinear system, so you have to watch out for those short periods because, with the ramp ups of the PDO, you still have Babe Ruth swingin’ the lumber: with the ramp down, it’s now Eddie Joost.

      • JCH, my response below in the wrong “nesting”

        Judith, note the “nesting” problem, again! Looking forward to your addressing it in a posting this weekend.

      • JCH:: As reinforcement, in the current ramp-up phase of the PDO, RSS appears poised to respond accordingly – up, up and through the clouds.

        Is that approaching a quantitative prediction? Would you say that you expect a 0.3C increase in global mean temperature between now and 2030? more or less?

      • “On your marks, set, go”

        Judith: Can you host the race somewhere and any purse?

      • MM, I would not consider “through the clouds” as being a 0.3C increase by 2030. 0.30C*10/15=0.2/decade. Surely, that is what he and other “climaterati” are considering a low value. Might want him to commit to a high value like 0.45-0.5C/decade by 2030; that’s 3C+/century.

      • Joel Williams: MM, I would not consider “through the clouds” as being a 0.3C increase by 2030.

        Me neither, but I think it is up to him to say. And if he is committed to the cyclical nature of PDO and the other oscillations, then his long-term prediction must allow for another “pause” later in the century. A 3C rise on the century requires that the next 1980s-like upward linear trend be quite steep: almost all of the increase will occur in the intervals 2015-2045, and 2075-2100. That is if he is committed to their apparent cyclical nature.

      • MM – I accept it’s a complex. nonlinear system. I don’t believe in 60-year cycles.

      • “I don’t believe in 60-year cycles.”

        Shall I mark you down as a o.o weighting guy in the ‘race’ then (see elsewhere or above). No 60 year cycle at all. How many years is your prediction for before we can that conclude that the record goes that way and thus award any purse?

      • I am not sure if you are aware of my position in the thermometer/satellite ‘war’ or even care. They ‘see’ the same thing from two different viewpoints. It would be remarkable if they were both the same.
        One from above, the other below. Different views, different figures. Both an apparently remarkable approximation to the true probably intermediate figure somewhere in between.

        Each series has pretty well cross referenced the others, after baselines, etc are taken into account. Good calibration all round so far. Let’s make it better.

      • JCH: MM – I accept it’s a complex. nonlinear system. I don’t believe in 60-year cycles.

        What do you mean by “up, up and through the clouds”? How can you tell that is about to happen?

      • “What do you mean by “up, up and through the clouds”? How can you tell that is about to happen?”
        A possible language confusion about upwards and futurewards?

      • 1. JCH 0.0 2 years 10% margin

      • “0.2/decade”

        will you accept a 2 year window and provide a percentage of error?

      • “0.3C increase by 2030” care to predict that as a 2 year value with error bars? I’ll put you in the list with whatever values you like for no to all 60 year by then

      • So a 2 year sprint ‘race’ to decide short term accuracy. To its all nature or its all man made? A teasing out of why if it gets hot or cold it may still go the other way? Just unverifiable decade or more long ‘projections’ people can hide behind. With error bars on show.

        I am suggesting a much shorter time frame with cause I think. Anyone has to explain how difficult it is to get such a short prediction right. Stops the ‘it must be CO2 driven Climate Change for ever normal but unusual Weather event IMHO.

      • A one horse race then? Doesn’t seem fair really. Still he gets to take his stake back. And pat himself on the back. Bunting and flags all around.

    • Wow, JCH you had 2 ‘osts’ to choose from! So remarkably similar.

      Eddie Yost (1926-2012) Senators/Tigers/Angels (the one I remember more)
      Career: 139 HR, .254 BA, 682 RBI, 3B, AllStar (The Walking Man)

      Eddie Joost (1916-2011) Athletics/Reds/Braves/RedSox
      Career: 134 HR, .239 BA, 601 RBI, SS/2B/3B, 2xAllStar

      Babe Ruth (1895-1948)
      1915-1934: 0.336 BA (stdev = 0.036); not quite a 30-year cycle!

      Your batting analogy is interesting, but Babe Ruth was more consistent (in baseball terms!) than your venerable Pacific, which is neither a Ruth nor an ‘ost”, but much the “Natural Cycle”. Unfortunately, you do not give any credence to anything else. Too bad. Many would take you more serious and being objective, if you did not “spout” off on all the problems are CO2 and voicing the same stance all the time without some consideration of cosmic forces and their impact. Otherwise, I enjoy your inputs. I guess I like to take a more open view of matters than you apparently do.

      • Among players with long careers, Eddie Joost is said to have one of the worst batting averages. So the King of Swat knocking it out of the park on the way up, and slightly better than 1-for-4 Eddie breaking not quite even with ACO2 on the way down. As for 2030, GCM are doing 2100. The ups and flats on the way 2100 will average to zero.

      • A great deal of this will have to do with whether or not England’s anomalous winds, the Kimikamikaze Wind, returns. If it does, then there would be a resumption of La Nina dominance and, perhaps, a return to a negative PDO. So what we see here is a weakening PDO, all through 2015, but the hot Atlantic off Brazil, which is thought to have triggered the anomalous Kimikamikaze Wind, is not yet present.

        My hunch is this El Nino will unwind, and then be quickly followed by a renewed strengthening of the PDO in 2016, and another El Nino starting fall 2016, or fall 2017.


      • JCH,
        Does the NOAA always index to the same year for “0” anomaly? What year is this map referenced to for “anomaly”

      • From their website:

        The SST anomaly field (degrees C) is the difference between the 50 km nighttime-only SST and the nighttime-only monthly mean SST climatology. The climatology is based on nighttime observations from 1984-1993, with SST observations from the years 1991 and 1992 omitted due to aerosol contamination from the eruption Mt. Pinatubo in June of 1991.

      • JCH, just a quibble with your phrasing.

        “there would be a resumption of La Nina dominance and, perhaps, a return to a negative PDO. So what we see here is a weakening PDO, all through 2015, “>/blockquote>

        My hunch is this El Nino will unwind, and then be quickly followed by a renewed strengthening of the PDO in 2016, and another El Nino starting fall 2016, or fall 2017.

        I don’t think “strengthening” and “weakening” are good terms to use for these short time scales about the underlying PDO processes. These are more transient states and would probably be better described with simply “increase” and “decrease” in PDO index. We really don’t know what is going on in the underlying processes that affect climate regime and global temp trends.

        Last year’s PDO index increase was largely due to the false start mid year 2014 el Nino. The decrease is likely temporary part of el Nino processes and when this el Nino dissipates the index will increase again, probably sharply. But I don’t think all of this says much about the underlying processes of more general PDO phase and trend.

      • Oops, forgot to close a blockquote.

      • The water chef used to post a graph of a proxy-based PDO that showed a lot of changes in its lengths of phase. The 1938 to 1984 peak-to-peak was 46 years. In 2013 I started guessing the PDO could go positive as it was 29 years since the last peak. It’s nature is to peak or trough, and the GMST usually changes direction as a result. In 1984 the earth diverged from that rule of thumb… because climate sensitivity is higher than recent science would indicate, and ACO2 knob is cranked hard to the right.

        Look at what are called positive phases and negative phases, and then look at the running mean… the trend. The trend used to rule the GMST; now it does not.


      • Yup. I think I even put forward once that the positive and negative might have their own, separate cycles (quasi-cycles) of frequency and intensity.

        Eyeballing your graphic, I looks to me that we recently entered a cold regime. The past couple years is likely a blip. Note the late 50s/early 60s.

        It probably is a good time to also go back and look at artic ice pre-satellite.

      • It looks very “stadium wavey”. ;)

      • I wondered about an underlying 60-year cycle in the PDO. The following 6-deg polynomial regression of the PDO that JCH presented above demonstrates that there is a general 60-65-year cycle. What struck me most was the clustering within the warm and cool periods: 2 “~5-year strong periods” separated by a short weaker or opposite period then these ~10-year periods were separated by a longer more robust opposite period. In doing the 6-degree polynomial fit, I needed to add the positive values beyond 2012. The running 10-year means generated an unreasonably skewed perception to me, esp, the one in the 1975-2010 range.

      • The peak to peak, 1938 to 1984, is clearly 46 years. It trended own from 1984 until the en of 2013… 29 years, and then it shot up. Say the peak is 2019. That’s 35 years. So much for 60 years. But it would be okay with me if it goes up for 31 more years, That would be 60.

      • JCH,
        I believe you are putting too much faith in “cherry picking” data. Those peaks you chose are NOT that “certain” in the the scheme of things. PDO, that you are so fond of telling us about, means decadal oscillations of the Pacific. The oscillations are tri-decade (warm and cold) periods. There can be lots of reasons that a given PDO Index is “higher” or “lower” during a cycle than expected, but the overall cycle is still there. When the next 30+ years is in, the next “cold” cycle can be added. Its “index” values will vary as they have in past cycles.

      • The red line is a 6-deg polynomial fit of the red dots and has R2 = 0.84

      • Actually I’m going by the water chef’s reconstructed PDO graph, which showed the PDO has wide variety of cycle lengths. And then there is Roe’s:

        By these statistical measures, the PDO should be characterized neither as decadal nor as an
        oscillation (but it is in the Pacific). 9

      • JCH,
        there are forests and then there are often different groupings of trees in those forests. There are “long-term” behaviors and there are “short-term” behaviors. The Pacific Ocean, clearly to me, demonstrates both. You were trying to tell us about the “long-term”, which I took exception to; Poe focuses on the “short-term”. The “short-term” behavior in the warm period from 1978-2008, during the rising CO2 level, seems basically little different than the “short-term” behavior during the cold period from 1948-1978 period, when there was no significant rise in CO2; only in different directions. So, the great portion of the PDO has NOTHING to do with the CO2 level, on either a “long-term or “short-term” scale! As you say, “the Pacific does what it does”. Leave CO2 out of the mix until you can demonstrated that a “constantly rising” level of CO2 is responsible for the behavior of the PDO that is not already contained in its “CO2-less factored” behavior. That the Pacific affects climate is a “no-brainer”; that CO2 causes it to behave the way it does defies reason or would significantly alter its behavior. Again, as you like to say “the Pacific does what it does”. It will continue to “does so” until there are “major changes in the earth’s geometry and cosmic forces” dictate otherwise. CO2 does not seem, to me, to be much of a factor – not even an “Eddie Joost” – more like an “Eddie Gaedel” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eddie_Gaedel).

      • ACO2 is a huge factor… it has turned the PDO from something resembled a cycle into something that resembles the stairway to heaven.

      • Heaven might be where most would like to ascend to. Surprised you did not use the reverse: a boat ride on the Styx to an inferno. But, of course, the implication had to be that CO2 causes “UP”, not “down”.

      • Ice core co2 is implausibly low and stable. Other paleo data suggests more variability. I’d be surprised if there isn’t multidecadal variability of about 10-20ppm.

  46. Lies, damned lies, and statistics. Taleb may be technically correct, but on a long term trend, there would not be much deviation. But, even he says that does not rule out shorter term trends. Like the last 70 years?

    This paper, using complex statistics, suggests that there has been NO reduction of armed conflicts in the last 500 years. Probably technically correct, especially over a long term. But note he says that it does not eliminate SHORT TERM trends. Also note this only looks at numbers of wars. Looking at mortality, deaths from wars are down 1000 fold.


    Chart 10 here shows this graphically.


    And murder in Europe was 35 times higher in the middle ages.


    Many sources put the prehistoric violent death rate at 15% to 40%. That is, 15,000 to 40,000 per 100,000 rates. This page below, shows very high rates, especially amongst indigenous peoples. (look at archeological and non-state data)


    I think Taleb’s paper is statistical hand waving.

  47. maksimovich1

    Munich Re analysis for natural catastrophes for 2015,suggest the costs are the lowest since 2009.

    2015 saw the lowest losses of any year since 2009. Overall losses totalled US$ 90bn (previous year US$ 110bn), of which roughly US$ 27bn (US$ 31bn) was insured.

    The loss amounts were also below the long-term inflation-adjusted average for the period 1985–2014 (overall losses US$ 130bn, insured losses US$ 34bn).

    The natural catastrophes of the past year claimed 23,000 lives, substantially more than the previous year’s figure of 7,700. However, the number of victims was still some way below the annual average for the last 30 years (54,000).


    • Science research? Or mathturbation and computer game playing?

      0.30 +/- 0.18 from a number that is “estimated”. You might be willing to bet someone else’s money on a belief in our ability to know the total mass of water on this planet. I’m not.

    • I don’t see any data on actual terrestrial water. It seems they calculated it by taking ocean mass grom GRACE and subtracting land ice contribution…

      …but they used the old Antarctica numbers showing mass loss, not the Zwally results. So this study is, by definition, going to ‘agree’ with whatever figure there used to be for land water storage before Zwally et al.

      Following the same reasoning, move Antarctica from +0.25 to -0.25 and LWS becomes +0.8 instead of +0.3mm.

      I’m not saying land water storage is adding 0.8mm/year to sea level. I’m saying this new paper is quite shaky, to put it kindly.

      • Exactly.

        Which is why I call it playing with numbers.

      • I don’t get the angst here. This paper was probably submitted before the Zwally paper. Zwally is one paper.

        There are different ways of getting the the GWSnumber, none perfect. Looks like .38mm was the conclusion of other methods. These guys arrive at .31mm.

        If Zwally is right, then maybe the outlier of GWS papers, what sounds like a model-based result – .77mm, is closer to right.

        Don’t matter. The water is there. All these various papers trying to balance the sources can’t change it. It’s there. Zwally isn’t denying it is there; he’s just saying it didn’t come from his here (Antarctica). Still came from somewhere. It’s a travesty we cannot monitor the flow of water throughout the earth system. Still there.

      • stevenreincarnated

        We don’t even know how much of the water is really there.


      • No monitoring systems points to “the increase in sea level is not there.”

      • stevenreincarnated

        You’d have to define “the increase”. No monitoring system disputes there has been some increase. Sort of difficult to do attributions when the uncertainty in the product and contributors is so high.

      • stevenreincarnated

        JCH, yes that was a well done paper explaining some of the issues.

      • I must be missing something from the paper JCH links to.

        A steric rise of ~ 0.2mm / yr gets you to .7 inches by the end of this century.

        Switching from low tops to high tops takes care of that dire problem.

  48. There was confirmation today of strong magnetic fields in CORES of intermediate-mass stars:

    Stello et al., Nature, “A prevalence of dynamo-generated magnetic fields in the cores of intermediate-mass stars,” published on-line 4 January 2016

  49. It seems 97% of CE bloggers have gone senile.

    I’d suggest a change of topics to revive interest and to have more effect on the course of relevant future discussions.

    I suggest change focus from discussing temperature trends, climate sensitivity, climate science to discussing:

    1. impacts

    2. damage function

    3. policy options, policy analysis, cost-benefit analysis, risk analysis, Decision Analysis, Robust Decision Making

    • Peter, who’s in your 3% non-senile group? (97% gone first + 97% of 3% left = 99.91%) Down to you and JC? ;)

      • Joel,

        Thanks for asking me to define who’s in the non senile group; they are all those who:

        1. avoid repeatedly dumb, unconstructive, trolling comments (of which the recent threads have been predominantly filled with)

        2. avoid discussing irrelevancies like temperature trends over the past 0.000005% of the planet’s life

        3. climate sensitivity

        4. those who DO discuss the important inputs needed for relevant policy analysis, such as:

        1. impacts

        2. damage function

        3. policy options, policy analysis, cost-benefit analysis, risk analysis, Decision Analysis, Robust Decision Making

        :) :) :)

    • “1. impacts”

      The impacts of what, exactly?


      • David Wojick

        Indeed, Peter’s list assumes facts not in evidence, as the lawyers say in Court.

      • David Wojick,

        “Impacts can be either positive or negative, not just negative. :)

      • David Springer

        I’d like to second Bad Andrew’s question to Lang.

        The impacts of what, exactly?

        You have three chances to say “warming” without mentioning global temperature trends over the past [choose some single digit] and without mentioning climate sensitivity or really mentioning how much warming, if any. Good luck.

      • Springer asked:

        I’d like to second Bad Andrew’s question to Lang.

        The impacts of what, exactly?

        human caused GHG emissions

    • Peter,

      I suggest you relax.

      Your suggest topics are all good. They also sound like subjects you would be knowledgeable in. Instead of getting irate over people not discussing what you think we should, relax, pour yourself a drink and see if you learn about thinks you aren’t highly experienced on and wait until the topics that interest you pop up.

      • timg56,

        All intended as a joke. Forgot you have to tell North American’s that, :) (more humour intended)

      • So relieved it was a joke.
        I enjoy your nuclear perspective and hope to see an increase and renewal of the major baseload pollution plus CO2 free energy source.

        Worried that you lost perspective but now return to the regularly scheduled programming.

      • Peter,

        Good to hear. I thought you were starting to sound rather testy.

        FYI – it could be due to my being a former torpedoman. We are usually considered as having strong backs and weak minds.

        FYI 2 – I’m beginning to come around to your opinion on ybutt. He brings a squirrel (Price Anderson) to the horse race and rides it over and over. Have to feel sorry for the poor creature. (I’m referring to the squirrel.)

  50. Another simple question for all.

    What is a zero? How is it used, and what implications does it imply for any equations that use it? (logic question)

    • If memory serves, O, is listed in Strong’s, as being used 975 times yet has no mention of why. Curious. Also it is the Sun sign. Off, too. Don’t get me started on capacitaters.

    • David Wojick

      Zero is the whole number between +1 and -1 in the sequence of whole numbers. Many equations use zero, for example x + y = 0, which may describe a zero sum game. If you divide by zero things get more interesting, but by no means intractable. Why do you ask?

      • Interesting. Would you care to visit my blog for a different point of view?
        0 is not a number at all, it is a pure concept. The only reason for its existence is the, else you enclose ‘nothing’ with a circular line, it becomes rather difficult to see where on the page it is.

      • David Wojick

        Thanks Richard, but I will pass on your blog, as I have more than enough to do here. Do you also think that 1 is just a mark on paper? The rest of the numbers too? How do you feel about the negative numbers, or the imaginary numbers, or perhaps the transcendentals (my personal favorites)?

        Nor is the concept of a number the same as the number itself. People have concepts but things have number. Looking out my window now I see three horses and zero deer. Both numbers are very real.

        The nature of mathematics is something I have done a fair amount of work on.

      • “Do you also think that 1 is just a mark on paper? The rest of the numbers too?”

        Nope. The whole space between zero and infinity is where numbering schemes exist. How you wish to partition that space is up to you. In whichever numbering scheme you wish, from Unary upwards (which incidentally is what the Universe runs in). It does not have the concept of zero, other than in a very abstract sense as space is space and so it doesn’t need to.

      • Natures way of representing a zero is to leave the circular line off. It doesn’t do abstract 4D drawing that well. That Unary thing again.

      • “The nature of mathematics is something I have done a fair amount of work on.”

        It is a pity you appear to have stopped doing research then (said softly).

        I spend most of my time, between typing, anyway, researching and thinking.

        Only way to stay current in Computing. It is somewhat surprising to be in a world where the paper you present may not even be relevant or half way compete when you get to the award ceremony, but it was good enough to get you a Distinction anyway and was probably correct when you wrote it.

        Moore’s law is not only for silicon you know.

    • What is forebrain/backbrain thinking?

      One talks before it thinks.
      The other thinks before it talks.

      Everybody has ‘tells’ . Only the foolish ignore them.

  51. And a further question for you all, has anyone ever considered that I might be running a playbook here? One I might sell you if interested. That I might just have done this all before, one or more times? That I have just used successfully again in my professional life? I did declare in light of full disclosure, that I am a Logician who understands what Tutte and others did?
    Please give me the courtesy of thinking about what I say. Or go read ‘Art of War’ and consider it from an Internet age.

    • I was wondering about that playbook thing, Richard. How much is it? How many copies do we have to buy to make you go away?

    • blueice2hotsea


      Are you from Joe’s World? You seem to be running his playbook.

    • “Are you from Joe’s World? You seem to be running his playbook.”

      Which one is that. This one I evolved all on my own. Could well be the same or different.

      • blueice2hotsea

        Joe’s World is a former Climate, Etc. denizen who peddled uninteresting equations. Well, that’s not fair. They would have been interesting to a 3-yr old genius.

    • David Wojick

      I too am a logician, Richard (Ph.D. in analytic philosophy, minor in symbolic logic), mostly applications of the first order predicate calculus. I would not characterize Tutte as a logician, but rather as a mathematician. In any case you do not sound like a logician.

      • David,

        Yeah, but, I think he’s saying his equations are longer than others, or something like that…

      • Bad Richard. I’ll stop where I am for now then. :-)

      • David Springer

        “I’ll stop where I am for now then.”

        Highly doubtful.

      • https://climatedatablog.wordpress.com/2016/01/06/relativity-re-examined/

        An interesting alternative point of view is also possible. Logically the same as the currently accepted view.

        The current viewpoint is in what I call an X space.

        Plus infinity to minus infinity in all directions.

        How about a 1/x space instead as a viewpoint.

        In that case the (c2 v2) term attached to M in the conventional view on the RHS becomes instead a F/(c2 v2) on the LHS
        That term now lies with Maxwell’s equations rather than Newton’s which does seem more logical

        Still the same mathematical outcome though.
        Indistinguishable from the current view by maths or experiment.

        A very very different viewpoint That is still logically the same space.
        There appears at first glance no way to prove or disprove this state of affairs.

        1/gamma = (1 – v^2 / c^2)^(1/2)

        F/gamma = ma

        Law ii(a)

      • Mods: Optional. If you think it is too much of an attack, just delete. Playbook price keeps going down and down
        “…The longer it takes to answer a simple question, the more I worry. If I ask a guy if it’s raining outside, and he starts to tell me about cloud formations, I know we’ve got an issue.”

        — Ron Kaplan, CEO of of Trex in an interview with Adam Bryant of The New York Times

      • Are deliberately trying to push the price down. I deserve it I suppose. Bad Richard

      • Have you smacked enough or is more penance required. Bad Richard (2)

      • “I would not characterise Tutte as a logician”

        Would you characterise Newton as the same then?

      • If you will permit me to observe

        “Other science writers have concluded that science is undergoing decay and degeneration despite its celebrated progress [e.g., 6,7]. I agree with these perceptions. The nature and goals of modern scientific research at universities have changed so much that I am sadly convinced that modern science is withering from its former vigorous state. Since there presently is almost no push against the causes of this very undesirable situation, and since there are no easy means to accomplish all the reforms and rescue efforts needed to reverse the current very negative trends, I do indeed believe that modern science actually could be dying. Although science still is quite alive, to me it obviously is not well.”

      • 1978 to 1986
        Microcomputer Consultant. Commissions included:
        Design and development of Wirephoto storage and editing unit for Intertec Electronics Ltd., Wimborne, to be used in the newspaper industry.

        In 1975 Nyquist received together with Hendrik Bode the Rufus Oldenburger Medal from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.[3]

        Harry Nyquist (né Harry Theodor Nyqvist; /ˈnaɪkwɪst/, Swedish: [nʏːkvɪst]; February 7, 1889 – April 4, 1976) was a Swedish born American electronic engineer who made important contributions to communication theory.[1]

        His early theoretical work on determining the bandwidth requirements for transmitting information laid the foundations for later advances by Claude Shannon, which led to the development of information theory. In particular, Nyquist determined that the number of independent pulses that could be put through a telegraph channel per unit time is limited to twice the bandwidth of the channel, and published his results in the papers Certain factors affecting telegraph speed (1924)[6] and Certain topics in Telegraph Transmission Theory (1928).[7] This rule is essentially a dual of what is now known as the Nyquist–Shannon sampling theorem.

        The Nyquist frequency should not be confused with the Nyquist rate, which is the minimum sampling rate that satisfies the Nyquist sampling criterion for a given signal or family of signals. The Nyquist rate is twice the maximum component frequency of the function being sampled. For example, the Nyquist rate for the sinusoid at 0.6 fs is 1.2 fs, which means that at the fs rate, it is being undersampled. Thus, Nyquist rate is a property of a continuous-time signal, whereas Nyquist frequency is a property of a discrete-time system.

        When the function domain is time, sample rates are usually expressed in samples/second, and the unit of Nyquist frequency is cycles/second (hertz). When the function domain is distance, as in an image sampling system, the sample rate might be dots per inch and the corresponding Nyquist frequency would be in cycles/inch.

        Fig 12.

      • The Wapping dispute was, along with the miners’ strike of 1984-5, a significant turning point in the history of the trade union movement and of UK industrial relations. It started on 24 January 1986 when some 6,000 newspaper workers went on strike after protracted negotiation with their employers, News International (parent of Times Newspapers and News Group Newspapers, and chaired by Rupert Murdoch).

      • Google “climatedatablog richardlh” for a summary of the playbooks results so far. Any SEO jobs out there (white hat)?.

      • https://climatedatablog.wordpress.com/2016/01/17/available-energy/

        Available Energy (a summary)

        Total Available Energy in a system = Gravitational + Mechanical + Thermal + Electrical + Magnetic + Molecular + Atomic + Nuclear + Relativistic

        Gravitational Energy = Gravitational Constant * (Mass1 * Mass2 / Distance1 * Distance2)

        The Sum Total Gravitational Energy is a Constant
        The Sum Total Mechanical Energy is a Constant
        The Sum Total Thermal Energy is a Constant
        The Sum Total Electrical Energy is a Constant
        The Sum Total Magnetic Energy is a Constant
        The Sum Total Atomic Energy is a Constant
        The Sum Total Nuclear Energy is a Constant
        The Sum Total Relativistic Energy is a Constant

        QED The Sum Total Available Energy in a system is a Constant if F/gamma = ma rather than F = gamma * ma

        Energy is attracted to Energy by the inverse square law
        Energy is repelled by Energy by the inverse square law

  52. Climate science is just the latest example of Leftist dialectical sophistry and… we’re paying for it!

  53. As a person of Faith, I highly relate to the message of Dr. Katherine Hayhoe:


    Every time I see a person framing AGW as worshiping GAIA, I want to ask a question: “Do you worship at the Temple of Ayn Rand?”

    On the other hand, I’ve learned so much more about the science issues of AGW from Dr. Curry — especially the how much and how fast question of TCR.

    How I’ve reconciled Dr. Hayhoe and Dr. Curry is through “No or Low Regrets Policies” such as “Fast Mitigation” (short lived climate pollutants of methane, smog, HFCs, and black carbon).
    A major point of Pope Francis’ AGW message is the need to reduce these air pollutants that especially hurt the poor and most vulnerable (children & seniors).

    • As I’ve stated, each of the following actions can be approached from a “No/Low Regrets” perspective. And for those who argue that these actions (especially “Fast Mitigation”) will not do anything — Nobel prize winning scientist Dr. Molina (ozone hole) disagrees with you.


    • You’ve made it clear you are a person of faith for years. You simply believe what your cult leaders tell you to believe. You are incapable of questioning authority. You continually preach the teachings of your cult leaders

  54. Stephen,

    As a Catholic and someone who believes Jesus Christ is my savior I can respect Dr. Katherine Hayhoe’s personal religious beliefs. Doesn’t mean I have to give much credence to her opinions regarding climate change. At least not to any touching on the subject of impacts or policy recommendation.

    As for Pope Francis’s message, I try to focus on his overarching goal of improving the condition of the poorest among us, and not the crap he was foolish enough to insert regarding climate science. That he did so raises considerable doubt in my faith in the Holy Father. I remind myself he is human and subject to error and being fooled like any other. But it is hard to escape the feeling that he may not be all that bright. That, or he’s allowed other motivations to obscure his sight. Many of the people at the forefront of the CAGW issue are also believers in the concept of carrying capacity. A concept that is directly contradictory to Church doctrine. That Pope Francis can allow himself to be used by these folks it almost beyond belief.

    PS – you do realize that the air pollutants you refer to are primarily indoor air quality issues. Their only relationship to burning fossil fuels is how much longer or more expensive it might be until electrification eliminates the causes.

    • timg56 — Its how you want to frame something. Do you want to look for the “worst” or the “best” in people.

      I’ve taken positions of Dr. Hayhoe and Dr. Curry and reached a place where they both are compatible.

      You want to frame this as mostly indoor air pollution and dismiss all the stories coming out of China (especially last week)?

      • You are a genius, ss. There is a big problem in the Middle East that you can solve. Let the Iranians and the Suadis know that they are compatible, because they are all Muslims.

      • Bit of a “family” in-fight, I believe: Sunni vs Shitte

      • Stephen,

        People are more likely to engage when you don’t put words in their mouths. You made the point about air quality for the poor. I simply asked if you understood the issue. I am not framing it in any way.

        As for China, that is not the same issue as what the Pope is supposedly concerned about (according to your comment). As far as I understand it, outdoor air pollution issues in China are primarily in the cities. The root cause of the problem, massive increase in industry, including electrical generation plants, is due to China deciding it is more important to raise their population out of the 14th century than to worry about air quality. Proof of that is the fact the air pollution problem is not a technical one, but simply one of cost. They made the decision not to include technology which would eliminate the vast majority of the pollutants.

        If you want to argue that China is example A in support of what Pope Francis (or anyone else pushing for renewables above all else), fine. I’ll ignore you as someone who is motivated enough not to pay close attention to the issue. Because China is most certainly not what Francis is referring to in the Encyclical.

        BTW – RE your Fast Mitigation – China appears like it could be example A for what that might look like.

      • People are more likely to engage when you don’t put words in their mouths.

        That’s his practice. It’s his method of arguing. It is called strawman tactics. It’s intellectually dishonest. It’s one of the many of the 10 sighs of intellectual dishonesty Stephen Segrest practices frequently.

      • timg56 — Dr.’s Molina (Nobel prize on ozone) and Ramanathan made a special visit to Pope Francis to specifically discuss the climate science behind short-lived-climate-pollutants. So, you are incorrect that Pope Francis is not referring to SLCPs and the moral responsibility to reduce air pollution that especially hurts the poor and the most vulnerable (children and elderly).

      • Stephen,

        RE: your comment on SLCP’s

        Never heard of the term before now. And your reference to it appears to be an attempt to shift the topic. When discussing air pollutants which are the greatest threat to the young and the poor, the subject is primarily indoor particulate pollution from cooking and heating fires.

        And exactly what does air pollution have to do with CO2 emissions or climate change? CO2 is not a pollutant in the normal sense of the term. There is no direct harm from CO2 to humans. The only reason it has been classified as such in the US is due to an EPA finding. A finding which, per the Agency’s own Auditor General, failed to follow EPA guidelines. Have you ever bothered to check their website? The only reference they list on climate change is the IPCC. Think about that. The position of the EPA is that “since the IPCC says so, we don’t have to do any further research or analysis.”

        Interesting you reference Dr. Molina. I studied the “ozone hole” issue when I was in grad school. It’s almost as if it was a test run for how to push the “global warming/climate change” scary story line. (I’m referring to environmentalists and the media primarily.) All sorts of bad things were predicted if immediate action wasn’t taken. Skin cancers, disappearing species, possible tipping points. Almost all of them were extremely overblown. Twenty years later what do we have?

        We still have the ozone hole.
        It’s still about the same size.
        We still don’t know whether it existed before satellites discovered it.
        We are still guessing about why it is located over the south Pole and not over the Northern Hemisphere, where the models predicted it.

    • richardswarthout

      As I recall the Pope’s climate encyclical failed when it discussed man made air and water pollution, which everybody agrees is bad, in the same paragraph and same context as climate change, which is disputed and may not be so bad. Perhaps he did not see the slight of hand.


    • David Springer

      Poor thing. With a last name like Hayhoe you know she had a tough time in school. If she hasn’t yet discovered, giving a nod to global warming “science” won’t save her career in academia. Wearing her religion on her sleeve is the kiss of death. It’s permanent associate professor for her.

      I knew a guy, years ago, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guillermo_Gonzalez_(astronomer)

      He was a rising star in cosmology. Coined the term “Galactic Habitable Zone”. He was the main article on the cover of Scientific American in 2001. He had more papers published in peer reviewed journals than the head of the astronomy department at Iowa State. He was blackballed due to his religious beliefs and now teaches astronomy at a community college. One of the most shameful episodes of discrimination by creed that I’ve had the misfortune to witness. It’s pretty much why I’m so phucking hostile to academics in general. It’s not the only case. You can’t swing a dead cat in the halls of academia without hitting religious bigots in positions of power.

  55. On the good side, when China burns clean coal they will reduce aerosol air pollution plus NOx , SOx, soot and mercury but may cause increase warming as the sun reaches the surface there. Interesting to see estimates of how much cleaner air from the 70’s to 90’s impacted temperatures over land in Eastern US. Coal fired power plants cleaned up and natural gas reduced atmosphere pollution greatly. Could that be part of the man caused temperature increase in Northern Hemisphere record?.


    • Scott, cleaner coal they can get from Australia. But without bag houses and electrostatic precipitators and wet sulfur dioxide scrubbing, and possibly activated carbon for mercury capture, they will never have ‘clean coal’. See my guest post of the same title.

  56. Judith Curry:

    ”JC op-ed in the Financial Post: Unnatural consensus on climate change [link] … :

    ‘So, with regards to the evolution of the 21st century climate: Whether the climate models are correct or whether natural climate dominates, it appears that the Paris agreement will turn out to be phenomenally expensive but ultimately futile in altering the course of the 21st century climate. ‘”

    Judith Curry, I agree with you. Already the UN Rio conference 1992 demanded cost-effective, precautionary measures to cut anthropogenic CO2 emissions, even though lack of full scientific certainty was existing. There after e.g. the actions based on the Kyoto protocol have proved that the cuts of anthropogenic CO2 emissions carried out have not been cost-effective but economically disasterous. The Paris agreement is analogous to the Kyoto protocol: both of them are based on hypothetical climate model results without any evidence in reality; and, in addition, in both cases there are not commitments of states, approriate enough, to cut CO2 emissions in accordance with the Paris target.

    In my comment http://judithcurry.com/2015/12/27/year-in-review-top-science-stories/#comment-754581 I have written:

    ”Judith Curry, you et al. have proved that using empiric observations on temperature measurements instead of the hypothetic results of climate models makes the climate sensitivity drop about fifty per cent. Already this means that there is no need to cut anthropogenic CO2 emissions to reach the target of Paris.
    – – –
    1. There is known only natural global warming
    2. Historically increasing trends of CO2 content in atmosphere have always followed warming and not vice versa.
    3. During the recent nearly two decades the climate temperature has not increased even though the CO2 content in atmosphere has mildly accelerating increased.
    4. All CO2 emissions from sources to atmosphere and all CO2 absorptions from atmosphere to sinks together determine the CO2 content in atmosphere. Recently CO2 content in atmosphere has increased about 2 ppm a year. The anthropogenic share in this total increase is only about 4 % i.e. minimal, which means that anthropogenic CO2 emissions do not dominate the increase of CO2 content in atmosphere.”

  57. I found a link to the Marvel et al paper ‘showing’ how energy budget studies (Otto, Lewis, Aldrin, etc) underestimate TCR/ECS. I have only skimmed it but it’s clear why this has only been mentioned in a few blogs and isn’t being pushed as a ‘game changer’.

    Ugly URL but the shorter one didn’t let you see the whole paper… and I just discovered that you cannot copy&paste.

    Anyway, the entire paper is based on the results of a single model, GISS-E2, which just happens to be run by Schmidt and Marvel themselves. And don’t hold your breath for this kind of experiment to be repeated immediately in dozens of models.

    And, it all hangs on the tenuous concept of ‘forcing efficacy’. Like, the figures for forcings are wrong because some are so much more effective than others. Apparently in 2016 it’s still not at all clear how much forcing we have from aerosols, ozone, etc. Merchands of doubt and all that.

    Using this lone, month-old paper to dismiss a dozen studies indicating ECS around 2ºC would be… contrarian, I think is the term. Or perhaps cherry-picking.

  58. Reference “Pictures from an Institution” and Douthat’s persecution, it may be of interest that I see exactly the same strategic positioning in the left wing intellectual core in Latinamerica and Spain – they stand on a self righteous unassailable fortress, rewrite the past at will, persecute relentlessly (quite often they are violent), and if one challenges them patiently they will simply walk away hurling insults.

    I want to clarify that I’m not Christian, therefore I’m not necessarily backing a conservative Catholic. I’ve read the Bible, and it does support that conservative position. I guess individual Christians have to decide how much wood they haul from it to build a church they like. It is infinitely better to have that flexibility and interpret things as you wish, than to fall in the abyss of extremism we see in Saudi Arabia and in Jewish ultra orthodox thinking.

  59. Finally, the stupidity of putting electrical grids on the internet comes home to roost. From the article:

    Hackers caused a power outage in Ukraine during holiday season, researchers say, signalling a potentially troubling new escalation in digital attacks.

    “This is the first incident we know of where an attack caused a blackout,” said John Hultquist, head of iSIGHT Partner’s cyberespionage intelligence practice. “It’s always been the scenario we’ve been worried about for years because it has ramifications across broad sectors.”

    Half of the homes in Ukraine’s Ivano-Frankivsk region were left without power for several hours on December 23rd, according to a local report that attributed the blackout to a virus that disconnected electrical substations from the grid. Researchers at iSight on Monday said their analysis of malware found on the systems of at least three regional electrical operators confirmed that a “destructive” cyberattack led to the power outage.


  60. Modulation of Ice Ages via Precession and Dust-Albedo Feedbacks

    An new paper proving that CO2 is a minor player in the drama that is the Earth’s climate.


    We present here a simple and novel proposal for the modulation and rhythm of ice ages and interglacials during the late Pleistocene. While the standard Milankovitch-precession theory fails to explain the long intervals between interglacials, these can be accounted for by a novel forcing and feedback system involving CO2, dust and albedo. During the glacial period, the high albedo of the northern ice sheets drives down global temperatures and CO2 concentrations, despite subsequent precessional forcing maxima. Over the following millennia CO2 is sequestered in the oceans and atmospheric concentrations eventually reach a critical minima of about 200 ppm, which causes a die-back of temperate and boreal forests and grasslands, especially at high altitude. The ensuing soil erosion generates dust storms, resulting in increased dust deposition and lower albedo on the northern ice sheets. As northern hemisphere insolation increases during the next Milankovitch cycle, the dust-laden ice-sheets absorb considerably more insolation and undergo rapid melting, which forces the climate into an interglacial period. The proposed mechanism is simple, robust, and comprehensive in its scope, and its key elements are well supported by empirical evidence.


    Ralph Ellis

    • ralfellis, thank you for the link to your paper.

    • Yes. The ‘internet of things’ is also the hackable internet of things. A lot more serious than ‘mere’ identity theft’.

      • Dang. was meant as a response to Jim2 on the Ukraine grid hack.
        Was trying to say to RE, thank you for pointing to a most interesting paper. Want to give it a ponder, because dust on snow does not matter if there is more snow. So something has to trigger less net annual snow, also.

  61. Revenant’ star Leonardo DiCaprio happy world leaders finally taking climate change seriously

    “The scientific community has been screaming out loud. Ninety-nine per cent of the scientific community is in agreement that man is contributing to (climate change),” DiCaprio told The Associated Press on the red carpet for his new film, “The Revenant” on Wednesday.
    “The argument is over. Anyone that doesn’t believe that climate change is happening doesn’t believe in science,” said DiCaprio, who has remained an active player for the issue.

    Leonardo DiCaprio: ‘Girlfriend has to care about climate change’

    “I could never be with someone who doesn’t believe in climate change,” he assured Germany’s TV Movie magazine.

    Science be damned. This could be decisive for the female voter!!

    Leonardo DiCaprio witnesses a ‘terrifying’ sign of climate change in Calgary — a chinook

    Actor Leonardo DiCaprio attracted widespread derision from the people of Calgary after he cited the city’s famously unusual weather as “terrifying” evidence of climate change.

  62. Danny Thomas

    Wanted to share the latest from Naomi. Actually makes sense to me that man’s escapades will have a visible impact on the record (with a more minor reference to GW): https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2016/01/07/scientists-say-humans-have-now-brought-on-an-entirely-new-geologic-epoch/

    and this one just for fun. Seems to me that this one indicates that the ice was missing before: https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/wrecks-of-two-whaling-ships-destroyed-by-ice-in-1871-found-off-alaska-coast/2016/01/06/287adfb0-b48b-11e5-a76a-0b5145e8679a_story.html

    • In the 1800s the village here was called “Olgoonik”. In 1826, Capt. F. W. Beechey named Wainwright Lagoon for one of his officers. The present village which acquired its name from Wainwright Lagoon, was established in 1904. The site was reportedly chosen by the captain of the ship delivering school construction materials, because sea-ice conditions were favorable …

      • Danny Thomas

        PDO shift?

      • he case studies discussed above suggest that even in
        cases of a diffuse ice edge, the ice concentration contours defining the ice edge from the perspective of historical whaling vessels still coincide with ice edges derived from present-­day passive microwave data, which lends additional credence to the records analyzed in this study. While the apparent juxtaposition of open water and ice areas apparent in Figures 3 to 5 is largely due to combining observations from different years and days of the month into single
        diagrams, it can also be explained in part by the convoluted
        nature of the ice edge, which would have allowed whalers
        to penetrate some distance into the pack.


        Between 1849 and 1914, the whaling ships of the Berin-Chukchi-Beaufort fishery collected a wealth of ice data, data which have become especially valuable in recent times as we try to understand more about sea-­ice variation in the past. Observations from the 1850s and 1860s were most abundant. These data show that at that time, the winter maximum sea-­ice extent was similar to that during 1972 – 82, but in summer the sea ice extended farther south
        than it does today. Comparison of the zero-­ice line for the
        1970s and early 1980s (Figs. 3 – 5) likely underestimates
        the amount of centennial-­scale change in ice extent because
        whaling vessels were able to penetrate into the pack beyond
        the 20% to 30% ice concentration contour.

    • Actually in order to navigate thru the solid ice in the 1800s they fitted these sailing ships with giant ice skates. Quite a technological achievement for the time, especially the massive blade sharpening machine. There was no end to the ingenuity of our ancestors.

  63. ‘In a way it’s a thought experiment,’ says Naomi.
    Phantasmagoria, alarmist dreams are made of this.


    • Danny Thomas

      I daresay she’s correct this time as the only known backtothefuturestorian in recorded climate history it’s the only way I could see that looking back in the geologic record to see man’s impact must come only via ‘thought experiment’ as of today.

      • :) Danny Thomas.

        Re back ter the fuchur …
        Climate change is the norm in naychur,
        inter-glacial following glacial, see-saw
        warm’n cool periods sometimes both in
        just one day! Do not sink in the
        Sloughof Despond regardin’ human
        guilt causin’ part, or all, of it,
        sacrifice ye no maidens as yet.
        Feedbacks from Cee-oh-too,
        not model guessimates, indicate
        no need fer hysterics to date, mebbe
        never. Humans ain’t good at predictin’
        but we’re sure good at adaptin’.

      • Danny Thomas

        Dang it. I was good till this part: “sacrifice ye no maidens as yet.”

        Not a Naomi fan, but think she’s actually right about this one and man’s imprint. Not specifically (or maybe better said in a minor way) GW, but the other ways she’s (and the other contributors) cited. On this one, I’ll have to give her credit, but can’t say that it’s a work of scholarship. Just observation.