Week in review – science edition

by Judith Curry

A few things that caught my eye this past week.

Steve McIntyre on making cherry pie with the paleoclimate reconstructions [link]  …

Bolivia’s 2nd largest lake has dried out. Can it be saved? [link]

The staggering economic cost of air pollution  [link]

Cliff Mass: Europeans shine in weather forecasting [link]

Study suggests a sea level climate feedback loop in the mid-ocean ridge system regulates ice ages [link]

Widespread water ice on #Pluto. New data from LEISA shows more than previously thought. [link]

Not so fast with this geoengineering idea- fertilizing oceans could be zero-sum game [link]

Air pollution not just damaging health but changing global rainfall [link]

Journal of the Meteorological Society of Japan paper does a very good job of describing numerical weather prediction data assimilation and the creation of reanalysis data set [link]

NassimNicholasTaleb explanation of the flaw of “averaging” under nonlinear responses and why much of psychology doesn’t generalize. [link]

Now in NatureClimate – Review: Fifteen years of ocean obs with the global Argo array [link].  Since 2005 “global warming” mostly confined to 60°S-20°S

Ed Hawkins: Comparing CMIP5 & observations – update with 2015 global temperatures [link] …

Cold Shock Claims Dozens Of Lives In Tropical Asia Record Lows…”Snow First Time In Their Lives!” [link]

El Niño Won’t Fill Up California’s Critical Groundwater Reservoirs – The Equation: [link]

Global deforestation is decreasing. Or is it? [link]

Researchers discover surprising waves in Antarctic atmosphere [link]

Warmer oceans could produce more powerful superstorms [link]

New paper finds base of marine food chain has increased 10X over past 45 years, thanks to CO2 fertilization [link]

Ocean circulation changes may have killed cold-water corals [link]Holy cow: The incredible tale of irresponsible chocolate milk research at the University of Maryland [link]

Q&A: How scientists link extreme weather to climate change – with Myles Allen & @FrediOtto [link]

Bob Tisdale:  On the monumental differences in warming rates between global sea surface temperature datasets during 2000-2014 [link]

Uncertainties in tree-ring based climate reconstructions probed [link]

Good overview: Fact checking Mark Carney’s climate claims [link]



217 responses to “Week in review – science edition

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

  2. Regarding “New paper finds base of marine food chain has increased 10X over past 45 years, thanks to CO2 fertilization,” they manage to make it sound like a bad thing. Very funny.

    • The data is a big deal. First, means an increase in a key ocean carbon sink (coccolithophores formed the white chalk cliffs of Dover). Second, puts the lie to ocean ‘acidification’, refuting all the faulty ‘canary in the coal mine’ aquarium papers on various coccolithophore species.

      • Second, puts the lie to ocean ‘acidification’, refuting all the faulty ‘canary in the coal mine’ aquarium papers on various coccolithophore species.

        It certainly demonstrates it’s not that simple. But increased coccolithophore growth tends (usually) to increase ocean acidification and atmospheric pCO2.

        Do the web-research if you don’t believe me, you know how. (I’ve linked to discussions before in comments here, if you don’t want to do your own Web search.)

    • Curious George

      “This finding was diametrically opposed to what scientists had expected.” That happens if your science is guided by expectations. Double-checking with Mother Nature helps. (A modern question: Why??)

  3. The McIntyre takedown of D’Arrigo and friends is stunning. Read it this morning over at his place. Select the ‘data’ to fit the answer and hide the divergence. A different way to hide the decline. Would seem to fit the definition of academic misconduct.

    • Problem is, too many “scientists” see “science” as manipulating the data to support their action agenda. I don’t think we’ll see the major outcry we should. Too bad.

    • Curious George

      We have to congratulate the Hockey Team again for a successful redefinition of a “peer review”.

    • Sad, They just let her get away with such brazen contempt of science.

    • It is.

      I was quite prepared to look closely at the data as an AR4 reviewer, but IPCC refused to provide me the data and threatened to expel me as a reviewer for requesting data. The data wasn’t archived until NINE years after my original request and, without the data, no reviewer could assess any of this even if they wanted.

      I really do not need any further proof for claims of broken processes. It is not so much about misconduct, but the unwillingness to search for misconducts.

      The polarization (‘tribalization’) to ‘us’ and ‘them’ has lead to a situation where ‘us’ is always accepted, and science looses when review is skipped.

      Googling McIntyre reveals so neatly how hard ‘them’ try to hit him, in order to protect the tribe. Googling reveals how hard Phil Jones has been hit for ‘hiding the decline’. This is a state of war between tribes. All methods are used in a war. What could be done to stop the war and continue with good science?

      • Great question wert.

        If “good science” is your end game you should consider options that create the credibility that is lacking in the current morass.

        The key to credibility is transparency.
        That’s the moral high ground that is for the taking.

  4. Commented extensively on sea level climate feedback loop paper at WUWT yesterday after a couple of hours research. Neither the volcanic heat nor the CO2 explanations fly; the latter also defies the CO2 lag to temperature in ice cores.To the extent there is a correlation, the causation is reversed. It is conceptually possible that isostatic rebound from deglaciation increases volcanism, but the core samples from EPR are far to limited to provide much observational support.

    • What about fertilization from upwelling hot water? I remember long ago (’70’s) I speculated about huge numbers of sea-bottom nuclear (fission) reactors whose coolant outflow fertilized large areas of ocean which could then be harvested for food.

      (While I don’t consider the idea unfeasible, my current research suggests that direct electrolysis and feeding of hydrogen and ambient CO2 to the right bio-reactors (with the right GM organisms) could produce huge quantities of carbohydrates without using significant area. So the “fertilize the sea and harvest food” option probably won’t turn out to be cost-effective.)

  5. I absolutely love Steve McIntyre’s use of “Calvin ball” to describe paleoclimate reconstructions.

  6. Taleb’s mean field problem and its implications for difficulties in drawing conclusions have some relevancy to the housing bubble and resultant financial crisis. Nationally foreclosures rose by about 400% from 2005 to 2009. That is bad enough but it doesn’t provide much insight as to what was going on throughout the country. That single number doesn’t tell you that California had increases over 2000% while other states were significantly higher than the mean. It also doesn’t tell you that Texas foreclosures rose by just 33%. We had many regional and local market distortions more so than a national one.

    Further,that number provided no insight into the fact that the time honored debt to income ratio had been obliterated by practices in the mortgage origination businesses. Consequently, the economists/regulators using only the national mean and assuming that the median income to house value relationships had not changed, would have had no insight into what was actually going on and why there was such a divergence between local and regional markets. Or if they were aware, they were not asking the right questions as to why.

    Not understanding all the facets of the mean, of any analysis, oversimplifies the interaction of systems and does not explain the why of it all. Taking some metric such as global temperature is of very little use in trying to know the why of the trends over the last few thousand years. When the focus is on the why instead of the what, we may be starting to understand the earth’s climate in its full dimensions.

  7. Curious George

    The surprising waves in Antarctic atmosphere – an extremely interesting phenomenon if real: temperature changes from +32 C to -122 C in five hours, nonstop, somewhere high in the atmosphere. They measured the temperatures with a lidar, somehow. Unfortunately the article is paywalled. Whether real or not, it shows how little we know about the stuff above our heads.

  8. The Arctic Ocean is warming up, icebergs are growing scarcer and in some places the seals are finding the water too hot, according to a report to the Commerce Department yesterday from Consulate, at Bergen, Norway
    Reports from fishermen, seal hunters and explorers all point to a radical change in climate conditions and hitherto unheard-of temperatures in the Arctic zone.
    Exploration expeditions report that scarcely any ice has been met as far north as 81 degrees 29 minutes.
    Soundings to a depth of 3,100 meters showed the gulf stream still very warm.
    Great masses of ice have been replaced by moraines of earth and stones, the report continued, while at many points well known glaciers have entirely disappeared.
    Very few seals and no white fish are found in the eastern Arctic, while vast shoals of herring and smelts which have never before ventured so far north, are being encountered in the old seal fishing grounds.
    Within a few years it is predicted that due to the ice melt the sea will rise and make most coastal cities uninhabitable.
    * * * * * * * * *
    I must apologize…
    I neglected to mention that this report was from November 2, 1922, as reported
    by the AP and published in The Washington Post – 93 years ago.
    This must have been caused by the Model T Ford’s emissions?

    • Don’t you love these kinds of articles? I have seen numerous contemporary accounts like this that make the standard for proof of anything “unprecedented” rise a little higher. Part of the critical thinking process that seems to be missing in this debate. It is easier just to go with the flow and limit yourself to inductive reasoning.

      • The global cooling accounts are like this too. You can trace them to a journalist trying to write something interesting to fill a couple of pages in a magazine.

      • “The global cooling accounts are like this too. You can trace them to a journalist trying to write something interesting to fill a couple of pages in a magazine.”

        Like this one in ‘Science’, Jimbo?

        Effects of Large Increases on Global Climate.


        Effects on the global temperature of large increases in carbon dioxide and aerosol densities in the atmosphere of Earth have been computed. It is found that, although the addition of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere does increase the surface temperature, the rate of temperature increase diminishes with increasing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. For aerosols, however, the net effect of increase in density is to reduce the surface temperature of Earth. Becuase of the exponential dependence of the backscattering, the rate of temperature decrease is augmented with increasing aerosol content. An increase by only a factor of 4 in global aerosol background concentration may be sufficient to reduce the surface temperature by as much as 3.5 deg.K. If sustained over a period of several years, such a temperature decrease over the whole globe is believed to be sufficient to trigger an ice age.

        The rate at which human activities may be inadvertently modifying the climate of Earth has become a problem of serious concern . In the last few decades the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere appears to have increased by 7 percent . During the same period, the aerosol content of the lower atmosphere may have been augmented by as much as 100 percent .

        How have these changes in the composition of the atmosphere affected the climate of the globe? More importantly, is it possible that a continued increase in the CO2 and dust content of the atmosphere at the present rate will produce such large-scale effects on the global temperature that the process may run away, with the planet Earth eventually becoming as hot as Venus (700 deg. K.) or as cold as Mars (230 deg. K.)?

        We report here on the first results of a calculation in which separate estimates were made of the effects on global temperature of large increases in the amount of CO2 and dust in the atmosphere. It is found that even an increase by a factor of 8 in the amount of CO2, which is highly unlikely in the next several thousand years, will produce an increase in the surface temperature of less than 2 deg. K.

        However, the effect on surface temperature of an increase in the aerosol content of the atmosphere is found to be quite significant. An increase by a factor of 4 in the equilibrium dust concentration in the global atmosphere, which cannot be ruled out as a possibility within the next century, could decrease the mean surface temperature by as much as 3.5 deg. K. If sustained over a period of several years, such a temperature decrease could be sufficient to trigger an ice age!

        Schneider S. & Rasool S., “Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide and Aerosols – Effects of Large Increases on Global Climate”, Science, vol.173, 9 July 1971, p.138-141

        Those results were bases on a climate model developed by none other than James Hansen, incidentally.

      • Boy, was he wrong in 1971. Dontcha think? I suspect he retracted that thinking based on better knowledge later. By the end of the 70’s several leading scientists, and even some at Exxon were already realizing what really was going to be important in the long term. However, the early-70’s view does persist in some skeptics to this day, although it seems the skeptics are now not allowed to think that aerosols do much either.

      • Jim D,

        “You can trace them to a journalist trying to write something interesting to fill a couple of pages in a magazine.”

        Have you stopped to consider this still applies? That much of what we see about the various problems climate change is (or will) bring us falls under this category? I bet something like 99.9 percent of “extreme weather” and “record event” stories fall into this category.

        If this is the case, why are you so afraid of the future?

    • That Washington Post report of 1922…

      I do so like things on the record,
      though Oceanean – connivists do not,
      – don’t like tests, Popper’s out, adjusting
      measurements according to the weather vein
      is in – ‘gotta’ get rid of the Medieval
      warming period, Little Ice Age,’ it’s done.
      But the pesky records remain in
      old news-papers, diaries, journals, an
      inconvenience for some – but there it is.

  9. It is amazing how far the “climate change” rot extends. The Weekend Australian Review has a review of Roger Luckhurst’s “Zombies: A Cultural History” by author James Bradley. Bradley’s latest book, “Clade,” is described by Penguin as “A provocative, urgent novel about time, family and how a changing planet might change our lives, from the acclaimed author of The Resurrectionist and editor of The Penguin Book of the Ocean.”

    In his conclusion, Bradley writes “And while there are some curious gaps in his argument – certainly I was interested by his failure to take up the degree to which shows such as The Walking Dead and even World War Z, with their images of impersonal tides and rivers of the undead (and in The Walking Dead’s case, its silent landscape of pressing summer green) speak to our anxieties about our vulnerability to the impersonal processes of environmental transformation and climate change.”

    Yes, folks, a book on the history of zombies (I would say in fiction, while writing mainly of fiction Bradley seems to think that the living dead exist), gets a fail because the author doesn’t “speak to our anxieties about our vulnerability to the impersonal processes of environmental transformation and climate change.” Is this an indication of just how far our alleged intellectuals have decayed? Much further than the zombies, apparently.

    • Anyone who believes The Living Dead has anything substantive or unique to say about society is one of the living brain dead.

    • On the subject of the modern zombie…

      At Christmas time I had to listen to a corporate banker (so fastidiously green/left, devoted ABC viewer etc) explain how bees were clearly disappearing “globally” because on massive broadacre enterprises farmers have to bring in bees to pollinate. As if bees are going to hang about on huge ploughed acreages devoted to maximum production waiting for the next flowering. (They buzz about quaint places like mine, which are pretty but don’t feed thousands urgently.)

      Rudely, I just snapped and started ranting about how proud I was to live in an era of mass agricultural production when the biggest nutrition problem in many countries was obesity. Witness the enormous oversupply of every sort of food for all levels of society across Australia at Christmas. The starvation has gone from us. We have to manufacture it artificially by becoming drug fiends or food faddists. The tables even of the unemployed groan with food at Christmas. Scrooge would have to offer Tiny Tim a new iPad to get his attention and gratitude.

      We now live so long in the West that the old ZPG dream of the family planners, de-sexers and mass abortionists is an irrelevance. Countries dominated by a middle class have few children (Germany has overtaken Japan as the least fertile nation) but survival and longevity – even for people who eat at McDonalds – mean the population stays high even without migration.

      I obviously love the bush and the natural world – which is why I live in it – but I am grateful for life and longevity above all. So I’m grateful to all those dark satanic mills which make it possible for me to enjoy and live long – and not just briefly survive – in my green and pleasant land.

      We have a crisis. Our crisis is Global Ingratitude.

      • > Our crisis is Global Ingratitude

        In a way, I suppose

        The cities contain the population centres (obviously) and are cocooned from the struggle to generate and supply basic necessities. This separation is now generations long

        The result has been, perhaps not so much ingratitude, but complete and unconscionable insensitivity. Not a new analysis, I know, but still one of import. Govt cannot fix this, as the votes are where the population bulges are

    • RE: Zombies

      With the proper frame of mind, they become nothing more than a target rich environment.

      • In almost every Zombie movie I’ve ever seen, the people weren’t suffering from a glut of zombies but a shortage of ammo.

    • Hmm. I haven’t watched The Serpent and the Rainbow in quite a long time.

  10. FWIW, I have recently examined the latitudinal radiative forcing for a number of scenarios and have come to the conclusion that global warming is likely but that climate change is not.

    The reason is that climate – the statistics of weather( storms, wind, precipitation, clouds, droughts, heatwaves, coldwaves, etc ) – is determined by motion of the atmosphere. And the factors that determine motion ( pole-to-equator radiative imbalance, gravity, friction, rotation of the earth, location of mountains/oceans ) will change only marginally if at all with a doubling, quadrupling, or even octupling of CO2.

    The most important factor of the general circulation is the polar deficit/tropical surplus of radiant energy. This would be the factor most likely impacted by CO2, but for a range of scenarios, increasing CO2 does not significantly change the main pattern of polar deficit/tropical surplus:

    To be sure, temperature is a climate metric ( though we should distinguish the global portion from the portion determined by circulation change ). And absolute humidity would appear likely to increase with increasing temperature.

    But it may have been right the first time:
    ‘Global Warming’ not ‘Climate Change’

    • Curious George

      Is climate an average of weather, or statistics of weather? We need a real definition, not a flimsy one.

    • Most of the air from which the copious snow fell had been training from the tropics at fifty knots. Invoking the small area of the gulf stream when the tropical air alone could account for the precipitation may be confirmation bias:

    • The point is that the AMOC slowdown is a signature of global warming. The consequences of warmer water off the east coast are secondary. The water off Greenland was colder in 2015 than at any time since records began in 1880. This is part of climate change, and in 2015 it accelerated.

      • stevenreincarnated

        It will be fun watching the explanations as to why a slowdown in the AMOC causes the Atlantic to acquire OHC both faster and slower than other oceans. I predict it will eventually be settled the AMOC was speeding up until recently and then slowed down. Besides, CO2 didn’t cause it to slow down from the MWP to the LIA unless you want to bite into my hypothesis that Atlantis was actually a highly industrialized, fossil fuel using society that just never figured out how to build a boat.

      • The slowdown looks fairly recent.

      • stevenreincarnated

        Jim, AMOC reconstructions, you’ve seen them before you just didn’t follow my advice and eat more fish:


      • It is a shame it ends at 2000, because most of the interesting changes were later, especially 2015. It’s a case of watch this space for new AMOC estimates. Greenland’s increasing melt rate since 2000 is going to have an effect.

      • stevenreincarnated

        I already know it slowed down. That’s old news. I wonder how long I’ve been talking about that now. A couple of years maybe? It is slowing at a rate an order of magnitude larger than the models indicate hosing from Arctic melt should cause. It is almost certainly early signs of the AMO going negative and if we are lucky it isn’t the beginning of a big drop like there was from the MWP to the LIA. I don’t feel like dealing with winters that nasty.

      • Under Hansen’s scenario, where this is driven by the amplified Arctic warming, coldness in Europe isn’t the only issue but also more rapidly rising sea levels.

      • And you won’t have to.

      • stevenreincarnated

        JCH, you have faith so now go thrust your cross out at the currents and make it stop lol.

      • I get it, global warming increases water temperature in the Barents, this keeps it from freezing, instead it evaporates and falls as snow in surrounding areas, and this cools the water which makes the overturning circulation slowdown which freezes Europe and keeps the Barents as a warm spot. Cool.

      • stevenreincarnated

        Jim, I almost missed your reply because you put it in where I had already read. Look at it this way, if global warming is causing the slowdown then that is a strong negative feedback, if it is natural variation then some of the warming was also. Either way we win.

      • Glaciers melting have caused reversals in warming before. Sea-levels rose several meters per century in these phases, so in that case the concerns switch to cooling in Europe, more active storms in the North Atlantic, and a more rapid sea-level rise. The imbalance continues to drive warming where it can, but Hansen says higher fractions of it will go into melting in those phases. The melting rate has a tipping point beyond which it continues with no chance of recovery, and for Greenland, I expect that the CO2 forcing will become sufficient for that in this century.

      • stevenreincarnated

        Jim, now you are saying that a reversal of warming, otherwise known as cooling, will cause glaciers to melt and sea level rise to skyrocket. For some reason I don’t associate glaciers melting with cooling. There is likely to be a slight increase in sea level near the east coast of the US initially, but if we cool that will go away. Might I point you to the slowing of the AMOC from the MWP to the LIA and suggest at worst that is what you are looking at.

      • Well, you can check out the Younger Dryas as an example of such a thing occurring during otherwise warming conditions. Also, when it happens, its onset is quick.

      • Hansen’s paper is not going to make it through peer review, so all that AMOC catastrophe SLR, decade or two of cooling stuff ain’t happening.

      • As the AMOC slows down, we will see more papers taking up this idea.

      • stevenreincarnated

        JCH, I agree catastrophe seems like a boogyman in the closet type concern. It doesn’t change the fact that the data shows the AMOC has been slowing, however:


      • stevenreincarnated

        Jim, for a repeat of the YD you’d pretty much need half of the Greenland ice sheet to all fall off at once. Like I told you before models of Arctic hosing with fresh water can only produce a small fraction of the declined observed. I am leaning towards the decline in solar activity myself:


      • It is not all or nothing. It doesn’t have to be the same scale as the YD with Europe re-entering an Ice Age, but cooling and faster SLR rates are a possible direction for climate change with an AMOC slowdown driven by higher melt rates, driven by higher GHG levels.

      • Yes, 2004 to 2014 is the graph I found, though the Rossby guy appears to strongly disagree – has he changed his mind? When will RAPID update? It will be mildly interesting as the AMO mildly ticked up in 2015. You remain the only skeptic I know of who actually has something that is very interesting to follow. Low climate sensitivity is boring, and obviously almost as dead as the paws.

      • stevenreincarnated

        Of course we will see more about this idea. Nobody in the general public is going to think the ones pushing it are sane.

      • The deniers will have their work cut out disassociating record-cold and still cooling water off Greenland with its increasing melting rate. It will be interesting to see what they can come up with. The public can understand that melting ice cools the water because they see it in their drinks, so it might be hard for you to come up with a better visual of an alternative mechanism.

      • Jim D: “The deniers will have their work cut out…”

        These days Jimbo, it’s you sad little hold-outs who have nothing left but insults who are the deniers.

        Live with it.

      • stevenreincarnated

        JCH, I’m not positive what he said. If he argued the Gulf Stream wasn’t slowing then that is consistent with the paper I linked since it doesn’t show a statistically significant decline there either.

      • stevenreincarnated

        Jim, if it doesn’t cause a major disruption in the AMOC, then what will happen is it will cool, the glaciers will stop melting, and it will speed back up. That is assuming they have picked the right cause. What caused the changes in the AMOC previously? Could be fresh water hosing or could be solar. Could be something else entirely. Regardless of what it was we survived and, who knows, you guys might even get your wish to go back to the LIA.

      • Previous melting pulses were under increasing Milankovitch forcing where orbital eccentricity and tilt did not favor northern glaciers 12000 years ago. Now the net forcing is again increasing and faster, so it is no surprise that melting is increasing.

      • stevenreincarnated

        JCH, I don’t watch it that close but here is a link to their web page:


      • stevenreincarnated

        Jim, the North Atlantic is losing OHC. It won’t be cold just off the coast of Greenland.

      • Yes it is mostly in a subpolar gyre where currents are not strong, but its cooling and expansion can lead to lower OHCs in that area.

      • stevenreincarnated

        I don’t think the cold water from Greenland made it down below 36 N and between 26 N and 36 N is where this study is based on. It shows reduced OHT reduces OHC in that area:


      • Are they even specific on whether it is more cold-water transport versus less warm-water transport?

      • stevenreincarnated

        I’m not going to look, Jim,. I’m just going to assume if it starts at the equator and heads towards the poles it is warmer.

      • I have a prediction for the Climate Faithful. When temperatures start dropping in earnest in Europe and they roll out this nonsense about ‘Climate Change’ causing it, that will pretty much be the end of them. I mean, sure, some of the Faithful will lap it up like every other ad hoc excuse, but the majority of the population are going to remember that they’ve been told for decades to expect the exact opposite. And they’re going to find themselves in the middle of a cold spell with nothing to keep them warm but a bunch of failed ‘Renewables’ and the wreckage of their departed industries.

        I sure wouldn’t want to be one of the poor fools just leaving collage with their brand new diploma in ‘Climate Communication’ when the snow hit the fan.

      • The accelerated sea level rise rate should keep them focused on the real issue in that case.

      • Jim D: “The accelerated sea level rise rate should keep them focused on the real issue in that case.”

        There is not – nor is there likely to be in the foreseeable future – any possibility of accelerated sea level rise.

        You live in a fantasy world.

      • You’re wrong. 1900 to 1990 – 1.2mm py. Jason2 – 4.24mm py.

    • Realclimates real problem is that the Gulfstream has not in fact slowed. Mann using treemometers to claim this along with Rahmstorf does not make it so.
      Neither Rossby’s over 20 years of weekly ADCP measurements on board Oleander (weekly crossing from NYC to Bermuda), nor the moored RAPID buoy array at 26N starting in 2004, show any such thing. Another Mannian fact fail.

      • Yes, I think some skeptics will dismiss the North Atlantic cooling as just another anomaly that they can’t understand and move on, but there are good reasons being put forward for it, and the skeptics need to engage, otherwise this will be another area where they are left in the wake of the scientific discussions going forwards.

      • Ristvan did engage. You did not reply. Instead you changed the subject, as usual.

      • DW, the century-scale cooling was not addressed by this point, and that is the most prominent piece of data on the long-term variation. Rahmstorf uses the temperature difference a measure of the circulation (see plot above).

      • Jim D, how can you confuse century scale changes with decadale scale changes, as just posted by you yourself upthread.
        Please, choose one or the other. For the sake of your own confused credibility. Do try harder if you want any credibility here.

      • It’s the coldest in more than a century. This is a significant century-scale change. On more recent time scales it is just accelerating, so now more people are noticing. You want to call it a decadal acceleration, fine, but the signal goes back further.

      • jimD

        if you want settled science.. just ask Rud.
        he has settled a ton of science in his ebook.
        in fact, he can settled any science question in an afternoon.
        just ask him!

        the rest of us have uncertain knowledge, so please read and believe
        Sir Rud.

        Psst.. in the end nature will open a can of wup ass on the skeptics.
        so have fun while you can

      • Yep. ONLY ‘skeptics’ get that can opened on them: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/01/160116215419.htm

        “f anything, we expected that these sensitive calcifying algae would have decreased in the face of increasing ocean acidification (associated with increasing carbon dioxide entering the ocean from the burning of fossil-fuels). Instead, we see how these carbon-limited organisms appear to be using the extra carbon from CO2 to increase their relative abundance by an order of magnitude.”

        ’cause non-skeptics got it all figerred out!

      • Meanwhile Spain is having excellent weather. There’s a bit too much rain in the north, but the temperature around here is just great. We are seeing tourists fleeing the ice age come in large quantities. Today’s high is 20 degrees C, it’s sunny, and the ocean looks like glass.

      • SM

        I don’t interpret Rud as having those views. Perhaps he has seen enough counterfactuals and over reliance on inductive reasoning to believe there are alternative possibilities. He also may have enough experience with human systems to have insights into why the consensus believe what they believe. Pattern recognition is an attribute of a high IQ. There are a lot of patterns to work with.
        Editor said the weather will eventually decide. It will for most. But even if the glaciers appear at the front door, some will be like the South Pacific holdouts and never know the War is over.

      • ’cause non-skeptics got it all figerred out!

        Like all great advances in research, game changing papers are written by non-skeptics of AGW.

      • …in the end nature will open a can of wup ass…

        Here’s the thing: Nature’s can of whoop ass ( like wup ass, but stronger ) has known ingredients, and global temperature isn’t one of them.

        Wrt climate, Nature whoops ass by moving the atmosphere. Take a given atmosphere, octuple the CO2, warm it up, humidify it, amplify the Arctic warming, and even get rid of all the Arctic sea ice, and the things which cause atmospheric motion still don’t change much:

        Now, continued warming would appear likely, and yes, continued humidification as well.

        And by seasonal and regional examples, we know what that does: it makes temperature variability lessen. And by similar examples, it means increased precipitation, which may be a benefit for a world which already uses a large percentage of the total water falling as precipitation over land.

        Nature will continue to whoop ass ( she never stopped ), but it’s because she’s always had the power and it doesn’t come from increased CO2.

      • “I don’t interpret Rud as having those views. Perhaps he has seen enough counterfactuals and over reliance on inductive reasoning to believe there are alternative possibilities.”

        Simple. Do you ever see Rud express even a touch of uncertainty in any of his appeals to his own authority. Or does he rather consistently proclaim that he addressed any and every matter “in my E book”.? I would suggest you read his comments and you will see the latter. When it comes to appeals to his own authority there is no room for uncertainty.
        X is wrong.. as a matter of rud says so.

        Go ahead, claim X, and Rud will be along to claim that he has demonstrated Not X, in his book. Basically, claiming himself as an authority, and at the same time giving the readers homework.
        Great marketing for the book. lousy method of convincing people.

        Doubt me? I have a giant stack of proof. pay me and I will show you, for a fee.

      • Steven Mosher: “Do you ever see Rud express even a touch of uncertainty in any of his appeals to his own authority.”

        About as much as we see you expressing in yours, Mosher.

      • SM, I did not appeal to my own authority as you so prominently claim just above. I pointed to Dr. Rossby’s (URI) meticulous records of the Gulf Stream current for now near three decades taken weekly from aboard Oleander transiting from NYC to Bermuda, and to the RAPID buoy results further south at 26N. Google them.
        What I can do reasonably well is research what is more likely to be a true fact, then present that reasoning with the primary data sources. As here. You didn’t like the result (that Jim D’s RealClimate linked source top of comment thread is just WRONG, for the usual reasons), so you changed the subject to an ad hom attack on the ‘reporter’.
        Just as most warmunists do most of the time when observational facts aren’t running their way. Not classy, but typical. And in the end how you will lose the AGW debate. Ma Nature does not appear to be on your side, and your side is increasingly disengaged from reality. The present example being purported Gulfstream slowdown (which is not the same thing as the AMO turning cold (which it is, hence Arctic ice recovery), as also pointed out to Jim D upthread).
        And, if you or others ever read any oceanography, you would know thanks to Bill Illis that any meltwater from Greenland circles round to the west and forms part of the Labrador current. US Navy knows this and has the water flows illustrated on line. Our subs use this stuff to hide. So the Mann/Rahmstorf thesis has no basis in oceanography, either. Pathetically feeble. Have a nice day.

      • Wonderful reply to an ad hom attack. Indeed this past week I heard over and over again in real life … “you should reconsider your point of view, the bus is leaving and you’ll be left behind on the enemy gravy train”

        It’s really kind of gross to see otherwise smart people acting so poorly, but the group pychosis is strong.

      • Should be “energy” not “enemy”. I must have the new wordpress Freudian slip spellchecker.

      • I don’t think the Gulf Stream strength is necessarily related to the AMOC strength. The Gulf Stream is part of a wind-driven large-scale Atlantic circulation. When it gets north only some of it sinks as part of the AMOC, but you would still have a strong Gulf Stream even without the overturning, just from wind-ocean dynamics. Most of it doesn’t sink and just recirculates southwards in the North Atlantic.

      • Jim D, mostly dead thread. But for the record, you initiated with RealClimate Gulfstream. I refuted. You sequed to AMO. I agreed, and pointed out you were confusing two very different things. Now you show up admitting AMOC is not much related to GulfStream current. Well, I pointed that out to you long ago.
        Abject fail. Please research your facts before posting you palpable nonsense. Else you remain a really easy target for those of us who do try to understand the data. And you will continue to be torpedoed, as above.

  11. Brian G Valentine

    The item on the “ice age” regulation doesn’t mention Earth’s orbital or inclination influences at all.

    : (

    Let me tell you how much credibility I place in THAT analysis

  12. I enjoyed this article:

    El Niño Won’t Fill Up California’s Critical Groundwater Reservoirs – The Equation

    But I needed a little better perspective:

    California drought: Past dry periods have lasted more than 200 years, scientists say


    • Not only are there periodic 3-4 year droughts (3 since the 1970’s per NOAA PDSI), the UCS article did not mention that since 1970 Californi’s population has grown 87% while its water storage capacity increased 26%. Self inflicted wound.

      • Although California’s population has grown, much of its water problem flows from agriculture (flows — get it?). Cheap irrigation water is converted into lettuce, almonds, milk, etc. and exported out of the basin. Yet not an easy issue to fix given western water laws.

      • Curious George

        Ah, California laws. Battery capacity stated in megawatts. Clean air fees routed through an opaque Delaware company (no kidding, it is the law.)

      • Opluso, are you proposing that CA phase out irrigation based agriculture? Really?

      • Opluso, that is true. And has been for nearly a century. My grandfather farmed at one point in the 1930s nearly 1000 acres of citrus and plums in Orange county. All irrigated. I picked oranges and plums on his remanent 50 acres summer 1967 alongside migrant Mexicans. He kept it as an slanted oil drilling platform, since when he sold the rest of the land for housing developments he kept the mineral rights to a nice heavy oil reservoir underneath. He was by profession a very good petroleum geologist.
        Irrigated central valley farms have senior water rights being violated to slake LA thirst cause that is where the votes are. Specifically predicted this for California and Arizona in my early 2012 ebook Gaia’s Limits. Chapter 2, Water. Never imagined it would happen so soon.

      • DW:

        Opluso, are you proposing that CA phase out irrigation based agriculture? Really?

        Nope. But to solve a problem you first have to define it accurately. Major water usage (including groundwater mining) by agriculture. Major environmental reservations for fish and flow levels. After those two biggies comes industry and residential. Most of the restrictions are being placed on the last two because California government has little power over the first two water rights.

        This reminds me I need to watch Chinatown again. Great movie.

      • opluso is right:

        California drought: How water crisis is worse for almonds


        Atwater, — Merced County – A huge shift away from annual crops to nut trees has transformed the California farm belt over the past two decades and left farmers perilously vulnerable to the severe drought that is currently gripping the state.

        California farmers have spent past years busily ripping out lettuce, tomatoes and other annual crops in an attempt to sate the nation’s growing appetite for almonds, pistachios and other nuts.

        The delicious perennials are lucrative, but the vast orchards that have been planted throughout the Central Valley require decades-long investments, year-round watering and a commitment from Mother Nature that she is evidently unwilling to make.

        Another criticism is that just a few billionaires own most of the almond orchards. Most of those crops are sold out of state and overseas especially in Asia.

  13. Every time I see a paper claiming pollution costs X trillion per day I wonder…

    …how much was it costing in the 50s, when pollution levels were many times higher? How many lives were getting lost? How can it be that people talking about the past mention all calamities except pollution?

    Of course there is other possibility: that current losses aren’t nearly as big as claimed.

  14. Now in NatureClimate – Review: Fifteen years of ocean obs with the global Argo array [link]. Since 2005 “global warming” mostly confined to 60°S-20°S

    The shown trends appear to show that the increase in oceanic energy is ONLY in the southern portion. But how does that fit with the atmosphere being the initial source of (increased IR retention) heat? The Southern Hemisphere has the greater SI due to the eccentricity of Earth’s orbit.

    If added CO2 is the cause of primary (atmospheric) heating, and oceanic heating is a secondary cause due to atmospheric transfer of heat energy to the oceans, should we see a time difference between the two?

    This study doesn’t seem to reflect the global nature of additional CO2 in the atmosphere.

    • Not to mention that according to the satellites there has been almost no atmospheric heating since records began in 1978. Just a small permanent step up coincident with the giant El Nino. The ocean warming cannot be coming from the atmosphere. Perhaps a circulation change, or a cloudiness change, who knows?

      • Its extratropical southern ocean only. The paper is paywalled, but figure 5 can be enlarged and studied, and derives from ref. 27. I spent an hour today trying to google possible reasons why southern oceans only, not the tropics or northern oceans. Could not find a clue. Cannot be albedo, if Peter Webster’s paper discussed here previously is right. Could not find anything about changing ocean currents that might explain it. Its another possible Dunno essay, like the origins of zebra stripes. More stuff where we simply don’t know why. Just is isn’t a very satisfactory explanation. IMO, God’s will isn’t either.

      • Ristvan,
        Not to mention that if oceans are warming only in the Southern Hemisphere this does not match the pattern of surface warming, since Northern Hemisphere surface is warming more according to surface records. I believe most of that warming is contributed by Arctic warming, again according to surface records.

      • javier, yes. I could not figure out why any of this. But ARGO must be presumed correct, so there is something pretty important we do not understand. Another big uncertainty monster. Ocean heat transport!

      • The shown trends appear to show that the increase in oceanic energy is ONLY in the southern portion. But how does that fit with the atmosphere being the initial source of (increased IR retention) heat?

        The forcing into the mid and southern oceans is by the recent increase in wind force into the SO.
        Radiocarbon gradients however suggests that wind forcing was greater in the past and decreases were apparent in the MCA/ LIA transition eg Rodger 2011.

        In this study, model simulations are used to show that Southern Ocean winds are likely a main driver of the observed variability in the interhemispheric gradient over AD 950–1830, and further, that this variability may be larger than the Southern Ocean wind trends that have been reported for recent decades (notably 1980–2004). This interpretation also implies that there may have been a significant weakening of the winds over the Southern Ocean within a few decades of AD 1375, associated with the transition between the Medieval Climate Anomaly and the Little Ice Age.


      • All ocean basins have warmed. From the period 2010 forward, apparently a significant majority of the energy imbalance is both going into the Southern Oceans and staying there. Before that, much of it had to be going either into the NH oceans or transported to them.

      • One obvious culprit to consider is England’s anomalous trade winds, which not blew warm water from the Eastern Pacific, they also apparently blew a lot of it into the Indian Ocean:

    • There is more ocean surface area in the Southern hemisphere and the primary source of warming is UV/VIS radiation, which is absorbed by many meters of ocean depth.

      • So, in a scenario where aerosols are decreasing, one would expect the Southern ocean to warm more.

      • OK, aerosols in the Southern hemisphere have been pretty steady.

      • Never mind. Each square meter of Sunlight has to heat the same volume of ocean under it, so all things being equal the temp does not depend on the total area.

  15. I always find it interesting that northern NGOs and “activists” are so worked up about deforestation in the Amazon yet show significantly less urgent concern about logging the US for biofuel pellets or habitat reduction for wind turbines.

    • Curious George

      That’s because spotted owls are not allowed to nest in biofuel trees.

      • The problem I often have with many CE Denizens who clearly have good Ag and Energy Engineering expertise is not what they say — but what they don’t say. Its their looking away, chuckling at a joke, etc., when the hard-line AGW Skeptics make an incorrect statement.

        The vast vast majority of wood fuel (for pellets) in the U.S. comes from sound forestry practices of thinnings — like puny cull trees. So no, folks in the U.S. are not clear cutting pristine forests for pellet fuel.

        Where tree acreage is being “clear cut” is an Ag application of short rotation trees which are grown specifically for an energy crop purpose — harvested about every 2 to 3 years. Examples are densely planted (e.g., up to 4,000 trees per acre) fast growing willows in Europe and eucalyptus in the Southeast U.S which re-grow (called coppice) after they are cut.

        Here is a video of a Class (Germany) Tree Harvester doing this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2P7RE88Effc

        There are three important points on this that never see the “light of day” in discussions here at CE:

        (1) Short rotation energy crops are a great way to build carbon levels in soils (soil organic matter and carbon). About 65% of what you see in “above ground biomass” is also contained below ground (e.g, root systems). Energy crops can be used as a “bridge rotation crops” to make better (repair) soils for increased food production.

        (2) Wood fuel can be a cost effective way to keep older coal units operating (meeting air regs on SO2 and NOx) through something called co-firing (as done in the EU). In cofiring the fuel mix is say 10% tree fuel and 90% coal in a cyclone, PC, or fluidized bed unit.

        (3) One key approach in co-firing is in an external sub-stoichiometric (oxygen deprived) gasifier technology. In using this technology, not only can air quality benchmarks be achieved — but a stable faction of carbon is produced (waste material) that is returned to the soil, called biochar.

      • stephen, “The vast vast majority of wood fuel (for pellets) in the U.S. comes from sound forestry practices of thinnings ”

        You got a link for that? From what I have read stem wood is preferred since bark, limb wood and tops screw up the ash content. Thinnings are a pretty tough market.

      • Stephen, btw, mixing low quality slash biomass in a coal plant already set up to deal with the nasty stuff is a great way to go but regulations tend to prevent it pretty often. You still have the ash problems etc. which has caused lots of flyash and combustion residue technology to be given the EPA blessing.

      • Captain — In the past you give a link then I give an opposing link then we just keep on repeating. The person who gives the “most links” is the person who as you say “has the real chops”?

      • Stephen, whatever, using thinnings and small diameter round wood from thinnings is still being worked on so the “majority” of wood fuel coming from thinnings appears to be BS. Mixing in BS with legitimate stuff isn’t very becoming.

      • Captain — What you didn’t also say in your above post is that the EPA specifically included biomass co-firing in the potential toolbox for utilities in States to comply with the Clean Power Plan.

      • Stephen, “Captain — What you didn’t also say in your above post is that the EPA specifically included biomass co-firing in the potential toolbox for utilities in States to comply with the Clean Power Plan.”

        That is side stepping. Issue one is the quality and cost of pellet fuel made from thinnings. This is getting closed to being cost effective but still being worked on, close but not quite there yet. When it is there, local biomass agriculture will be cleanly and efficiently used not shipping stuff half way around the world.

        Issue two is whether biomass that is just as polluting as coal should be given an EPA blessing. According to the EPA you can use biomass and biowaste, but you still have to meet standards for the other pollutant emissions which happens to include ash. Right now there are megatons of biowaste in mount trashmores which should take priority over silviculture.

        I am all for reasonable use of biomass but the regulation gauntlet is a bit difficult to run and special interests are not helping progress.

      • Captain Wow. People can say pristine U.S. forests are being cut down for biomass/wood energy and they get a free pass.

        I say “from sound forestry practices” of thinnings rather than like thinnings and you make a federal case.

        Geez, OK — major sources of wood fuel in U.S.: commercial thinnings; wood mill wastes; wood wastes from harvesting (e.g., tree tops, limbs, cull trees, etc.); low quality wood (rotten, diseased, excessive knotting, etc.)

        Also, addressing another comment you made. Per numerous proximate and ultimate analyses done in the industry, energy crop biomass has a fraction of the ash content of wood coming from forestry operations (thinnings, harvesting, ect.). The reason for this is that energy crop biomass has a significantly lower amount of entrained dirt in it.

      • Stephen, “Captain Wow. People can say pristine U.S. forests are being cut down for biomass/wood energy and they get a free pass.”

        No, the timber companies are trying to fight the ancient forest only mentality. Clear cutting is part of the harvesting process if it is going to be profitable. Profitable is a bad thing out in the envirozone, so they have to appeal to the warm and furry creature side.

      • Burning wood is not a good solution.

        The C:H ratio for wood is 10:1 versus 2:1 for coal, 1:2 for oil, and 1:4 for natural gas (methane). It is plain to see that wood burning releases 40 times as much carbon as natural gas. In practice, it is less. Of course, nuclear emits no CO2.

        Clearly, the sensible path would be to transition to natural gas and then to nuclear.

        Wood burning is bad for the environment but good for the wallets of those that sell the wood “biomass”.

        OTOH, responsible and sustainable harvesting of wood for building materials is a GOOD THING. Building out of wood actually locks up the carbon in the building, at least temporarily – 30 to 50 years. FFs are burned in the harvesting, processing, and transportation of the forest products but that would be true for any building material. Also, earning a profit in logging actually keeps the forest in production – the trees are still in place – instead of having it sold and destroyed for strip malls and housing developments.

        Solar, wind, and biomass are all distractions. If you want to decarbonize, there are much better ways to do it.

        As an aside, the CA legistlature decided to keep net metering, at the highest market rate, in place.

        It’s good to be rich in CA.

    • The type of stuff that “real” environmentalists farmers and engineers are interested in (bottom up, no regrets actions):

      • This type of situation should be the focus, not farting around with a few tons of willow mulch per acre, which is like the CFLB of biomass. Restoring eroded land can store around 140 tons of carbon per acre initially along with all the other benefits and it cost next to nothing per acre to get it started.

      • Curious George

        How many people would such an agriculture feed? Should we “thin” the human population first?

      • Curious George

        Stephen, thank you for a link – I assume that this is a link that captdallas asked for and you did not provide so far. A half-hour video. You love videos. You must have a plenty of time on your hand. Really intelligent people don’t read, they just watch.

        You only provide video links – or links that assure us that octane is an additive to gasoline. Have a nice day.

      • curious, “How many people would such an agriculture feed? Should we “thin” the human population first?”

        Depending of the source, global food is produced on about 15% of the global land surface and about 30% of the land surface is seriously degraded. Reclaiming that land area could potentially double food production while setting aside an equal area for water shed/habitat etc.

        Also depending on source, restoring just the land area known to be degraded due to humans could offset nearly all fossil fuel use so you don’t really need biomass fuels as much as restoring land so it could produce biofuels, food, whatever.

        IMO, focusing of waste to energy which would include forest thinning in some areas, would be a much larger bang for the buck than biofuels over the next few decades. Since the “average” citizen of a developed country produces close to a ton of waste per year, properly using that waste would reduce their carbon footprint by 2 tons or about 10% which is pretty good.

      • er.. only ~50% carbon in the waste so that would be 5% reduction which is still pretty good.

      • Curious George

        Dallas, you are quoting surface areas only. Do you assume that the yields would not be affected?

      • curious, Yep, just land surface area. As a rough estimate 10% of the land surface is desert or desert-like because of agricultural abuse. So any yield there would be an increase. There is another 15-20% that would have increased yield and soil carbon uptake but kind of hard to estimate how much.


      • Curious George

        Dallas, thanks. Do you believe that crop yields in the depicted varied area without fertilizers or pesticides will be about the same as yields in commercial fields, or substantially higher, or substantially lower? Did you consider a positive effect of carbon dioxide on yields?

      • Curious, ” Do you believe that crop yields in the depicted varied area without fertilizers or pesticides will be about the same as yields in commercial fields, or substantially higher, or substantially lower?”

        Most of the areas would take decades to rebuild to “premium” and you would get an increasing yield along the way. There is some weird uses for fertilizer, you can start heavy to get things going and wean them off to increase root depth. Then you can just forget fertilizers altogether and get a slower start with about the same end result. Once things are back to normal start with fertilizer/pesticides for specific crops but leave plenty of water shed , wind rows etc. .

        “Did you consider a positive effect of carbon dioxide on yields?” Not really, water and basic nutrients are the main limits and the big thing initial is just getting something going to reduce erosion and build soil carbon/organic matter to hold moisture. Once you have things close to normal it would be a factor.

        What’s funny is there is a lot of this going on but it is overshadowed by all the other “urgent” stuff and being negated by biofuel insanity. A village in China might have carbon foot print of 5 tons per person maximum and could be building 5 to 10 tons a year in agricultural modification on an acre or two plot.

  16. Re: UConn. Study, “Their research suggests that the release of hot molten rock, or magma, from beneath the earth’s crust in response to changes in sea level plays a significant role in the earth’s climate. This change is attributed to the release of heat and carbon dioxide (CO2) into the deep ocean.”

    Interesting. I well recall the mockery and derision that greeted Ian Plimer’s suggestion along these lines earned from the “professionals”…..

    Cheers — Pete Tillman
    Professional geologist, amateur climatologist

  17. http://climateaudit.org/2016/01/29/cherry-picking-by-darrigo/
    Case of pragmatism in climate science, like that other,
    ‘We have to get rid of the Medieval Warming Period.’

  18. Two observations about the dried out lake in Bolivia. First, a commenter stated that the lake’s maximum was in 1986. If accurate, this is by coincidence (?) the precise period (1986-87) when the Great Lakes reached their recorded maximum levels.
    The other observation is that almost without fail, any article that highlights an effect of climate change also mentions other contributing factors. In this case, poor water management. The rest of the story, most of the time, is buried. Climate change hogs the headlines. That is what the editors want, after all.

  19. El Nino appears to be weakening:

    • A powerful El Nino is supposed to bring drought, heat, fire, withering gales from the inland etc to Eastern Australia. (There are always disclaimers, but the enthusiasm for climate misery in advance of this current Nino was palpable.)

      Instead we’ve had rain and storms. Clearly, this sort of thing will only continue and get worse till the ENSO siblings learn their chores properly and read that literature!

      One big storm even damaged the never used Sydney desalination plant (costing half a million dollars per day), built just a few years ago because…Do I need to say?

      Stay funny, warmies.

    • Yes, the equatorial Pacific wind anomalies appear to be about zero:

      The events do seem to differ, but if this one follows 97/98, the warmest atmospheric temperature anomalies are still coming up, though ( April? ).

      So, since 97/98 was an intense EN, and 15/16 was an intense EN, does that put trends since 98 back on the table?

      • This El Nino has already posted very high anomalies, making different than 1997, so 2016 may not look like 1998. Could decay rapidly, but there are other signs it could hang around. SOI hit a very low number just a few days ago.

      • How do the winds compare to 97/98? My suspicion is that they are much smaller and that there has been less heat transfer to the atmosphere and less suppression of eastern pacific upwelling (more cold water mixing with the eastern El Niño waters). If we don’t get like w pressure and more wind, there might be less transfer to the troposphere and when the El Niño breaks, the warm water will spike the PDO index upward and reinforce the warm blob later this year. Might be more storms make it into the Arctic, adding to ice mass and breaking ice up.

      • If we don’t get low pressure…

        (Of course, if there’s been less transfer of heat to the troposphere up til recently, there could be even more potential for big transfers this winter.)

      • Could decay rapidly, but there are other signs it could hang around.

        97/98 and 72/73 had ‘double peaks’ which are possible, but the MEI is on the decline. Even so, the effect on temperature does seem to lag a few months:

        The dominance of El Nino is apparent for the period 1976-present compared to 1950-1975.

        What happens when we revert to a La Nina dominated regime?

      • And, how much of warming from 1976 through the present is due to ENSO fluctuation versus CO2 RF?

      • You’ve already experienced La Nina dominance.

      • You’ve already experienced La Nina dominance.

        Nothing like the MEI indicates for 1950 through 1975.

        When it happens, aside from global T changes, more hurricanes, droughts, and tornadoes for the US.

      • JCH:

        You’ve already experienced La Nina dominance.

        How does that image demonstrate La Nina dominance? Outside of the non-critical values, the strength and duration of Nino vs Nina appear to fairly well balance over the time period examined. If anything (especially if I can cheat and add this latest El Nino), it appears that El Nino has slightly “out-performed” his little sister.

      • La Nina dominance is associated with the negative phase of the PDO, which is dynamic and has no set length. The one from 1950 to 1975 lasted a long time. The one from 1999 until 2014 was relatively short.

  20. Joint Release: Warmer Oceans Could Produce More Powerful Superstorms –e.g., Hurricane Sandy, Katrina and the next big storm — simulations prove that humanity causes warmer ocean temperatures that more than double the destructiveness of storms, tra la tra la!

    • Neither Sandy or Katrina were powerful storms. Sandy had a big surge in a bad place because of a full moon. Katrina also hit in a bad place and broke some dikes. In both cases the destruction was due to local infrastructure, not “powerful superstorms,” which is just false hype.

      • Katrina was a cat 5 before weakening to cat 3 at landfall – still a major.

        But the influence of SST is focused on to the exclusion of other factors by those chasing the hypothesis of AGW. The lack of correlation of ACE with SST tells a different tale.

      • TE, the lack of correlation? Wasn’t there a recent post here that shows a good correlation of North Atlantic ACE with SST?

      • Wasn’t there a recent post here that shows a good correlation of North Atlantic ACE with SST?


        But here is global annual ACE versus global annual average SST:

        There does not appear to be significant correlation.

        What Alex reminds us of is that SST (68 °F for Alex) is not so critical for hurricane development but that atmospheric instability and lack of wind shear are.

      • Wasn’t there a recent post here that shows a good correlation of North Atlantic ACE with SST?

        And it’s important that low wind shear and high SSTs often correlate.
        They certainly correlate on the seasonal level ( as the seasonal radiative imbalance from pole to equator subsides, so to does SST rise ).
        This may also occur on the inter-annual basis – as fewer mid-latitude waves pass over the Atlantic, so too are there more sunny days, more ridges, and perhaps as a result, higher SSTs.

        But is it the SST? or is it the lack of shear and upper level divergence which foster the incipient tropical cyclones?

      • Curious George

        I had a friend who moved in from New Orleans. Once he told me a story about a bridge which was being built from both shores, and in the middle of the river there was a misalignment by about a foot. I said,
        – Peter, are you sure it was a bridge and not a tunnel?
        – George, you don’t know New Orleans.

  21. Wondering if Allen/Otto might be hired to work for Bank of England in prediction of higher ‘likelyhood’ of weather events being tied to Anthro CC BEFORE the fact. Thinking the Re-insurance game might be highly changed as a result.

  22. aTTP
    Links to:
    Research integrity: Don’t let transparency damage science
    by Stephan Lewandowsky & Dorothy Bishop, 25 January 2016
    The aTTP denizens sound like tobacco company researchers protecting their cancer studies.

  23. This whole business of witholding raw data coupled with selective use of such data will destroy the credibility of science. It better find another way if it doesn’t want to become a laughingstock.

    • knutesea,

      It may “destroy the credibility of science” in the eyes of scientists.

      But in the eyes of the layman, I doubt it matters much.

      I’m pretty sure that in the eyes of the layman science’s cachet is due to it’s proven, demonstrated ability to fill the punch bowl and keep it full.

      ExxonMobil certainly seems to understand this:

      Energy keeps us warm, cools us down, and cooks our meals. It helps us connect with our children, and lights the garages and labs of entrepreneurs and inventors building a better world. Energy harvests our food, fuels our factories, builds our cities, and cleans our water. It keeps us mobile and connected with others near and far….

      This century also has seen tremendous advances in energy technology – including the ones that unlocked North America’s vast resources of unconventional oil and natural gas.

      Together, these technologies have ushered in a new era of energy abundance – and diversity. Today, our energy can come from deep below the ocean floor, beds of shale rock, nuclear fission, biofuels, the wind and the sun….

      Several themes remain true today: Modern energy is fundamental to our standards of living; practical options for meeting people’s energy needs
      continue to expand….

      The environmentalist movement? Well, with it’s “just us” doctrine, not so much:

      The need to reduce carbon emissions is, ostensibly, what [Naomi Klein’s] This Changes Everything is all about. Yet apart from applauding the solar installations of the Northern Cheyenne, Klein avoids looking at all closely at what this would entail. She vaguely tells us that we’ll have to consume less, but not how much less, or what we’ll have to give up….

      To draw on Klein paraphrasing Al Gore, here’s my inconvenient truth: when you tell people what it would actually take to radically reduce carbon emissions, they turn away. They don’t want to give up air travel or air conditioning or HDTV or trips to the mall or the family car or the myriad other things that go along with consuming 5,000 or 8,000 or 12,000 watts. All the major environmental groups know this, which is why they maintain, contrary to the requirements of a 2,000-watt society, that climate change can be tackled with minimal disruption to “the American way of life.” And Klein, you have to assume, knows it too. The irony of her book is that she ends up exactly where the “warmists” do, telling a fable she hopes will do some good.


      • Thanks Glenn

        The erosion of trust in science (if a scientists says it, it must be true) is being noticed by marketing firms and the courts.

        I agree that science enjoys respect when it provides solutions to da peoples. I also see that its increasing propensity to cheat the system that has made it respected as an objective forum is undermining the avocation.

        CAGW science is only one arena. Medical research is another. I recently finished reading a book called Hubris. I was helpful in opening my eyes further.

  24. I ran across this piece of nonsense recently. Using statistics, It is apparently extremely unlikely that CAGW alarmism is a conspiracy. We can all relax and go home now.


    Oddly enough, there was no discussion of the climategate e-mails.

  25. Ref the paper on geoengineering: we see many half baked speculative articles regarding why it may or may not work. I assume eventually this will get off the rather medieval objections I’m seeing and they’ll go run some highly instrumented experiments, which eventually will become small scale pilots, at which point they’ll have something called data to discuss and interpret, build models, and run económics to compare geoengineering versus building solar panels in Germany.

  26. One of the commentators at another blog put up this interesting proposition.
    “Certainty isn’t required for risk management. If you wait until you’re certain, the damage will probably have already happened. Then again, mitigation efforts to prevent a worst case scenario aren’t required either.”

    The ideas contained include the mathematics of risk and the philosophy of risk.Not to mention the concept of uncertainty which seems alien to many denizens here.
    My attitude would be one of laissez fare unless I was relatively certain [convinced] that the effects of CO2 production were actually quite dangerous.
    I also believe that people and biospheres will adapt to changes if and when they occur without the need to be proactive.
    A typical example is the scare about the emergence of “superbugs”,
    Do they exist, yes are they a problem, no.
    A superbug carries around a suitcase full of risk management strategies.
    Consequently they are immune to most antibiotics.
    but at what cost?
    They are too fat and slow to move around, Taxi’s won’t pick them up and girl bugs avoid them. Consequently they can only live in hostile environmental hellholes called hospitals full of antibiotics which temporarily kill off their competitors.
    Proof of this is the fact that if they were so good they would already be everywhere now.
    This seemed to tie in perfectly to your articles above such as
    “Bolivia’s 2nd largest lake has dried out. Can it be saved”? why should it be saved, Old lakes dry up and new lakes form all the time
    “Not so fast with this geoengineering idea- fertilizing oceans could be zero-sum game” exactly let things take their own course.
    “El Niño Won’t Fill Up California’s Critical Groundwater Reservoirs – The Equation” etc

    • angech said:

      My attitude would be one of laissez fare unless I was relatively certain [convinced] that the effects of CO2 production were actually quite dangerous.

      One of the things human beings do, and do exceedingly well, is certainty.

      Science and scientists, unfortunately, don’t seem to have any special immunities to this human proclivity:

      Traditionally, belief begins where knowledge ends, that is, where we can in principle have no proof or falsity. Belief, in other words, is judgment without a foundation.

      Scholastic science accepted such judgments because they seemed to rest on God, who was the most certain thing of all.

      The universal science that Descartes sought to establish, however, was a system of well founded judgments that did not rely upon God, and were invulnerable to his potential deception. Faith consequently had no place in Descartes’ science.

      The Cartesian alternative to faith is certainty. Certainty, though, has much in common with belief or faith, for it is the result of the persuasion of the intellect by an inner or natural light. It persuades us because we cannot believe otherwise.

      Indeed, the notion of truth as certainty draws upon the neo-Platonic conception of truth which also characterized the Lutheran and Calvinist notion of the certainty of salvation.

      Descartes thus returns in a roundabout way to Augustine’s view that faith is the answer to skepticism, although his new faith is divorced from the divine. Certainty rests not upon divine guarantee but upon indubitablity. What is certain is the indubtiable and what is dubitable is the uncertain.

      — MICHAEL ALLEN GILLESPIE, Nihilism before Nietzsche

      And as Stephen Toulmin points out in Cosmopolis

      One thing about his [Descartes’] ideas, however, was to their [the Counter-Reformation theologians’] taste: his insistence on the need for certainty. Once rationalism raised the intellectual stakes, Catholics could not go on by playing by older, more relaxed rules: if formal rigor were the order of the day in physics and ethics, theology must follow suit.

      Confronting Protestant heretics on the one side, and skeptical deists on the other, the theologians decided: “If we can’t join them, let us beat them at their own game.”…

      The ambition of the Counter-Reformation…was “to prove invincibly our most fundamental belief.”

      Montaigne’s reaction to these claims can be imagined; yet neither Aquinas nor Erasmus would have been happy about this use of the phrase, “invincible proof”. Neither of them claimed that human beings, however wise and inspired, could put matters of faith and doctrine beyond scope of reconsideration and revision. Both of them would be shocked to see that the Christianity they treasured was abandoning its former sense of human finitude, and falling into a dogmatism contrary to human nature as they knew it. Despite all its turmoil and religious divisions, the 16th century had been, by comparison, a time when the voice of sweet reasonableness made itself heard, and was widely valued. From 1610 on, and most of all after 1618, the argument became active, bloody, and strident.

  27. Someone may have already posted this, but here is a new mega-study that says natural variability will make global warming worse, at least in Europe. It uses tree rings and models, but at least they now recognize that natural variability can be large, which is a step forward.

    Here is the green massage: “When they predict forwards, they predict the effect of CO2 but they have to sit natural variability on top of it. If they underestimate that they underestimate the extremes – so the recurrence of heat waves are likely to be underestimated by these models.”

    Of course they ignore the possibility that the observed recent warming might be due to this newly discovered natural variability.

    See: http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-35431375?utm_source=Inside+Climate+News&utm_campaign=59c021dac8-Weekly_Newsletter_Week_of_1_241_29_2016&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_29c928ffb5-59c021dac8-327531733

  28. Re: How scientists link extreme weather to climate change. Sounds like they use climate models that are tuned to be hot to draw conclusions on extreme events and to parse information to create headlines. They do not acknowledge or take into account the limitations of the underlying models and/or assess the uncertainties in the results. Their goal is to draw conclusions that support the starting hypothesis and not to further understanding of the situation.
    – “We run a global atmospheric model thousands of times … driven with sea surface temperatures and atmospheric composition … and then repeat (the runs) with these “boundary conditions” modified to represent a “world that might have been” in the absence of human influence on climate… and compare the statistics of extreme weather events between these two ensembles. We need thousands of runs because we are generally interested in relatively rare events.”
    – “as a group, we have probably published as many null or negative results as we have positive attribution statements, although there is probably a tendency for the positive statements to get more publicity.

    • > How scientists link extreme weather to climate change

      On this issue, Trenberth has simply reversed the null hypothesis again (it’s his speciality)

      He just says: “All extreme weather is a result of anthropogenic climate change”. So there’s no need to prove individual cases any more … QED

  29. David Springer

    Chalk up another big win for the benefits of releasing ancient sunshine lockup up in the hydrocarbon bonds of fossil fuels! Drill baby drill!!!!

    “New paper finds base of marine food chain has increased 10X over past 45 years, thanks to CO2 fertilization [link]”

    Increased carbon dioxide enhances plankton growth
    Date: January 16, 2016
    Source: Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences
    Coccolithophores–tiny calcifying plants that are part of the foundation of the marine food web–have been increasing in relative abundance in the North Atlantic over the last 45 years, as carbon input into ocean waters has increased. Their relative abundance has increased 10 times, or by an order of magnitude, during this sampling period, report researchers.

    • Late to the party…

      • And those horrible consensus climate scientists… how could they slip up and do this nasty anti-greenie research. Musta sold their souls to the coke bros.

      • David Springer

        The paper was produced at a private research center not affiliated with any government or university. Thanks for not noticing and then sticking your foot in your mouth.

      • From their webpage “About” section.

        “The majority of the Laboratory’s funding comes from federal and state grants and contracts, licenses and contracts with the private sector, and philanthropic support.”

  30. This is new. Haven’t noticed mention of it here. Da moon:


  31. Oliver K. Manuel

    Here’s one example of the information ignored by AGW proponents:

  32. Also this week, a rather troubling piece in Nature by Lewandowsky and Bishop suggesting that transparency can be damaging for science. I believe JC is preparing a post on this but in the meantime see


  33. Could populism mean a lesser role for the UN? From the article:

    Today’s far-right populists are similarly buoyed by a global economic slowdown. It’s now clear that the bonanza of globalization has been divided grossly unequally. Whatever the reasons for this — technological innovation or financial liberalization — a small number of networked people have grown disproportionately rich in many democracies.

    Consequently, anger, distrust and hostility reign in the broader public sphere against the Davos Men and their apparent accomplices in politics and media. The Edelman Trust Barometer, which annually appraises reputations of businesses, government and other institutions, reveals a widening gap between elite and mass perceptions in the U.S., the U.K., France, India and Australia.

    Immigration, while helping business, has aggravated financial and cultural insecurities among ordinary people: The foreigner, whether high-skilled migrant, refugee or asylum-seeker, has come to embody the opaque forces that threaten jobs and livelihoods.


  34. Apologies if this was discussed and I missed it. From the article:

    Hundreds of scientists sent a letter to lawmakers Thursday warning National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) scientists may have violated federal laws when they published a 2015 study purporting to eliminate the 15-year “hiatus” in global warming from the temperature record.

    “We, the undersigned, scientists, engineers, economists and others, who have looked carefully into the effects of carbon dioxide released by human activities, wish to record our support for the efforts of the Committee on Science, Space and Technology to ensure that federal agencies complied with federal guidelines that implemented the Data Quality Act,” some 300 scientists, engineers and other experts wrote to Chairman of the House Science Committee, Texas Republican Rep. Lamar Smith.

    “In our opinion… NOAA has failed to observe the OMB [Office of Management and Budget] (and its own) guidelines, established in relation to the Data Quality Act.”


  35. Hmmm … another model from non-engineers … from the article:

    Doing things like selling electricity from a solar farm in Texas to a household in a state farther north would be cost-effective — while cutting carbon emissions — if the United States were unified on a single power grid, according to a new study.

    A team of researchers from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the University of Colorado, Boulder, developed a computer model that designed the most cost-effective systems for delivering electricity across the United States, based on weather, land use and electricity consumption data. They found that an area as large as the United States would be best powered mostly by renewable energy sources linked to a single national electrical grid system.


    • Curious George

      “The model his team designed does not require electricity storage. Instead, as Clack said, the researchers’ model “uses space and time as storage.”

      Utilities should be rushing to reap the fruit of effort by these geniuses.

      • Yup. So I guess they use excess electricity to warp space-time. Then, when they need the stored electricity, they attach the warped space-time to a generator and harvest it.

    • Jim2, another unicorn. The authors of that paper have not a clue as to how grids work, or about transmission losses, cost of extra transmission lines, and such. Just wishful renewable what if thinking without any engineering reality. Planning Engineer will hopefully weigh in.

  36. it’s all a scam, Lewandowsky says you say so.

  37. Extreme air–sea interaction over the North Atlantic subpolar gyre during the winter of 2013–2014 and its sub-surface legacy: http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00382-015-2819-3



    n the winter of 2013/14, North Atlantic mid-
    and high latitude air–sea heat exchange was dominated by
    exceptionally strong latent and sensible heat loss. Both the
    NCEP/NCAR and ERA-Interim reanalyses show that the
    extreme heat loss was primarily driven by anomalously
    strong northerly airflows originating in the Nordic seas
    (Grist et al. 2015, manuscript submitted to
    Climate Dyn.).

    The extreme winter heat loss had a significant impact
    on the ocean extending from the sea surface into the
    deeper layers through the formation of new dense water
    masses. At the surface, a north–east Atlantic cold SST
    anomaly was co-located with the strong losses in late
    winter, consistent with an ocean response to extreme
    surface heat loss (Grist et al., manuscript submitted to
    Climate Dyn.). Furthermore, a re-emergence of this SST
    anomaly in November 2014 indicated that the severe
    losses in winter 2013/14 had the potential to modify
    ocean–atmosphere interaction in the winter of 2014/15.

    In the ocean interior, the extreme heat losses over the
    Labrador Sea in winter 2013/14 led to the most significant
    formation of Labrador Sea Water (LSW) since 2007/08,
    if not since the beginning of the twenty-first century
    (Fig. SB3.3; Kieke and Yashayaev 2015).

    In summary, the severe winter heat loss of 2013/14 was
    remarkable in size and impacts both in the Labrador Sea
    and across the mid- and high latitudes North Atlantic. It
    has left a major imprint on ocean properties both at the
    surface and at depth.

    • Interesting.

      Jim D, you readin’ this?

      • OK, this is the anomaly as of 2015 compared to the 20th century average.

        It is the coldest it has been for over a century. What does this mean? I don’t know. I can only read up on ocean circulations and speculate. For example, what I see is that this is an important area of bottom water formation, a downward branch of the overturning circulation. What usually happens is warmer Gulf Stream water enters this area, cools by evaporation in the cold air, and also being salty, it becomes dense and sinks. For it to cool more than normal means that this circulation may have slowed down, so it is not sinking so easily and warmer water is not coming in so easily. Why is that? One possibility is freshening which makes it less likely to sink, maybe from an incursion of surface meltwater from Greenland. Just a guess. Something may have happened to the Gulf Stream branch that normally enters that area.

      • And in 2015 the AMO went up. So this are is surrounded by a North Atlantic that can completely offset it when the big bad PDO goes north.

    • The Ellensburg (WA) paper reported December was the coldest in 20 years – using anomaly from degree days.

      Who cares – beyond some climate change scientist whose livelihood depends on someone paying them to measure – what a hypothetical “global” temperature might be when local temperature is what you experience?

  38. Climatic irregular staircases: generalized acceleration of global warming

    A relative slowdown in surface temperature rise has been observed for the last 15 yr, similarly to the literature5,6,7 — but we have shown additionally that a slightly negative slope in global warming could only be achieved for the very last 10–15 years, and by considering only two-steps staircases of duration 5 or 6 yr. We also computed that it can be found only at the 0.1% level (3/3029), which is clearly anecdotic. Otherwise, 99.9% of the 3029 Earth’s climatic irregular staircases are rising.

    • “Zients said that the fee would apply to imported crude and petroleum products, but not to U.S. petroleum exports — to prevent U.S. producers and refiners from being put at a competitive disadvantage in foreign markets.”

      Tricky. They get extra credits points for the divide and conquer strategy.

      • And ‘phased in’ over the next 5 years (currently it’d be +/- 25%) when it seems it should ‘phase out’ as prices rise via market forces (whatever those are in the world of oil).