Week in review – science edition

by Judith Curry

A few things that caught my eye this past week.

Climate Science

Parched earth soaks up water, slowing sea level rise [link]

Cleaner fuels 4 fishing boats could backfire on the climate [link]

How much ice can Antarctica’s ice shelves afford to lose? [link]

NOAA NHC: Solving the jigsaw puzzle of hurricane history [link]

Nic Lewis schools Gavin on climate sensitivity at Climate Audit [link]

Medium-Sized Asteroid Hit Could Unleash Ice Age [link]

Understanding the 2015–16 El Niño & its impact on phytoplankton [link]

Glaciologists anticipate massive Antarctic ice shelf collapse [link]

Bummer?: “in Europe, trees grown since 1750 have actually increased global warming” [link] …

NOAA study: Heavy daily precipitation caused by decadal ocean variability, & less to human-induced climate change’ [link]

Consequences of today’s carbon emissions will linger for thousands of years, study finds [link]

El Niño and climate change: Our wild weather may get wilder. Fred Pearce reports. [link]

Radical CO2 removal projects could be a risky business #UEA research [link]

Carbon storage in the deep Atlantic during the last glaciation [link]

#Climate not the only pressure on reefs. Study: prevent overfishing [link]

Volcano ‘Little Ice Age’ contributed to famines & wars in 6th century. [link]

Interesting post by Victor Venema on early instrumental temperature records. [link]

Other interesting science

Einstein’s gravitational waves detected in scientific milestone [link]

Soooo what is a gravitational wave? – [link]

Here is the science! #LIGO Physical Review Letters paper. [link]

The chips are down for Moore’s law. The semiconductor industry will soon abandon its pursuit of Moore’s law. Now things could get a lot more interesting. [link]

Cautious optimism: #Dementia, #Alzheimer’s rates are falling, study suggests [link] …

In honor of Valentine’s day: Can You Really Die From a Broken Heart? [link]

About science and scientists

Kahan and Tol on climate cluelessness [link]

These Academics Are Pissed There’s Too Much Global Warming ‘Denial’ In Science Classes [link]

Nearly 3,000 climate scientists condemn Australia’s dramatic research cuts  [link]

Dan Kahan: They already got the memo” part 2: More data on the *public consensus* on what “climate scientists think” about AGW [link]

Looks interesting: A New Tool for Teaching the Ultimate Wicked Problem [link]

Andrew Revkin: What’s Missing at the U.N. Climate Panel’s Meeting on Climate Change Communication [link]

Debunking some myths about private sector scientists  [link]



213 responses to “Week in review – science edition

  1. Heh, Judy, you can quit with the reviews; the science is settled. Climate can not be predicted so any policy about it is bound to be wrong.

    • Hey Judy, thanks for turning off registration again. I just love anonymous mode because I’m so askeered of posting here if I have to provide any verifiable information about myself to you. I have so many enemies ya know due to how clever I am.


      • Dave, that’s beautiful!

      • I turned off registration at the request of Alan Longhurst, who cannot comment when registration is on. Please grow up

      • Hint, don’t skip a line between the end of copy and the double underlining. It’s got to be right under it for maximum, er, authentic, effect.

      • Alan Longhurst

        If you want to save 15% or more on car insurance, you go to Geico. It’s what you do.

        If you want to have fun on blogs you find one that allows anonymity so you can use phony names and email addresses. It’s what you do.

        Thanks Judy!

  2. Here is a pro-AGW piece in Science Magazine, on how our middle and high school students are being exposed to climate skepticism, because of their teacher’s “insufficient grasp of the science”. http://science.sciencemag.org/content/351/6274/664 Full text is free.

    A rebuttal might be called for here. The scientific debate is real.

    • It would be nice to hope that the ‘yutes’ have recognized the debate, but I’ll bet the article merely bewails the teachers’ insufficient toeing of the line of consensus alarmism. The alarmists hope to damn the skeptics as science deniers; what the skeptics are actually doing is affirming science.

      They’ll learn, eventually.

      • Some yutes embrace unconventional views. There are also polls of science teachers showing skeptical parents making waves. The debate is definitely alive in the schools.

    • students are being exposed to climate skepticism, because of their teacher’s “insufficient grasp of the science”.

      David Wrote: A rebuttal might be called for here. The scientific debate is real.

      Students are being exposed to skepticism because science requires skepticism. Consensus is not science. Those teachers are doing their job correctly. We have six grandchildren. I talk to teachers and administrators on a regular basis. I help keep the alarmist garbage out of my grandchildren’s schools.

    • Those teachers are doing their job correctly because the alarmist brainwashing is not working.

    • I’m very interested in linguistics and we can see the English language is being assaulted yet again, with the word skepticism being butchered to mean something different.

      Skepticism is a good thing but the alarmist movement is changing the meaning of the word to a negative meaning.

      “Climate Skepticism” is not only bad English but meaningless. Yet it holds meaning for many fools.

      Throughout history, political and ideological movements butchered the meaning of words to demonise and taint.

      Even the Romans took “Barbarian” which meant Babbling, as in I can’t understand the language of foreigners, to Savage, violent, evil.

      Look at what has happened the word “extreme” or “extremist”. A word to describe something relative to a position or state, now it means something entirely negative, and apocalypse.. ditto.
      Paraphrasing along with this assault on English has reduced most online debate to drivel. Gavin Schmidt, Director of GISS of all places, engages in this tactic best suited for one way media dissemination where no questions are asked and nothing is challenged.

      Linguistic analysis is also great for ripping apart the obfuscation in papers.

      • There is no such thing as a climate skeptic. But there exists skepticism on the usefulness of alarmism. Panic leads to wrong conclusions, useless mitigation, and opportunism among politicians and businesses.

      • Yes, the reason fire marshals replaced human beings with robot alarms is… robots aren’t confused by the linguistics of stewpudd old white men: sit still and remain calm!

      • On the contrary, climate skepticism is a technical term with a very clear meaning. It refers to those people who are skeptical of one or more of the claims of AGW or CAGW. We know who we are and what our name means.

    • After some digging I found something truly interesting. This study was funded by the hyper-AGW National Center for Science Education, which also co-authored the report.
      See http://ncse.com/news/2016/02/first-nationwide-survey-climate-change-education-0016919

      The other co-authors are two political scientists, basically survey experts, so the climate questions and supposedly ‘correct’ answers were all defined by NCSE, with predictably anti-skeptical results. This is like Science publishing a study funded and written by Greenpeace. What a bad joke!

  3. From the article:

    Machines could put more than half the world’s population out of a job in the next 30 years, according to a computer scientist who said on Saturday that artificial intelligence’s threat to the economy should not be understated.

    Expert Moshe Vardi told the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS): “We are approaching a time when machines will be able to outperform humans at almost any task.

    “I believe that society needs to confront this question before it is upon us: if machines are capable of doing almost any work humans can do, what will humans do?”

    Physicist Stephen Hawking and the tech billionaires Bill Gates and Elon Musk urged a similar message last year. Hawking warned that AI “could spell the end of the human race” and Musk said it represents “our biggest existential threat”.

    The fear of artificial intelligence has even reached the UN, where a group billing itself the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots met with diplomats last year.


    • Utter nonsense (and the usual AI hype). But how is this related to the climate science debate?

      • How is LIGO related to the climate science debate, Mr. Wojick?

        Computer SCIENCE is related to science, however. Note the title of the post.

        At any rate, while in the past these sorts of predictions have not panned out, I believe this time will be different. Robots will eventually be able to do most of the work we humans now do. That does not comport with the meritocrocy of which I am a fan. Nor does it comport with free markets and such.

        If robots do the work, what do humans do in order to buy the products? Or do we just go socialist where the government owns the means of production. Interesting times ahead.

      • I’m amused that the first emotion predicted for AI is grief over lost information.

      • David Wojick said:

        But how is this related to the climate science debate?

        Because the futurism and surrealism of the Cosmists and Blacksmiths is being applied to energy too:

        Increasing capacity per dollar in computer technology has driven exponential growth for 50 years. The same could happen in the energy industry…..

        …changes in economic, environmental, and demographic trends could lend credibility to the idea of a Moore’s Law equivalent in energy….

        Like Moore’s original law…the overall aim will remain unchanged: creating a clean, affordable, and secure energy future with huge growth opportunities, in which continuous innovation supplants oil price fluctuations or the reserve replacement ratio as the source of urgency for the industry. A rule like this, as Gordon Moore showed, can be both an indicator and instigator of breakthrough innovation — just the sort that is needed for energy over the next 40 years.

        “A Moore’s Law for Renewable Energy”

    • Wheels and levers could put more than half the world’s population out of a job in the next 30 years, according to a rotation scientist who said on Saturday that machine force’s threat to the economy should not be understated.

      Expert Moses Vardi told the Roman Association for the Advancement of Philosophy (RAAP): “We are approaching a time when wheels, levers, screws and drills will be able to outperform humans at almost any task.

      “I believe that society needs to confront this question before it is upon us: if machines are capable of doing almost any work humans can do, what will humans do?”

      Physicist Archimedes of Syracuse and the gold billionaires Croesus of Lydia and Julius Caesar urged a similar message last year. Archimedes warned that MF “could spell the end of the human race” and Croesus said it represents “our biggest existential threat”.

      The fear of machine force has even reached the United Kingdoms, where a group billing itself the Campaign to Stop Nailing Hammers met with diplomats last year.

      • It was fire, the power of man’s red flower. Now eagles pluck our guts.

      • I’m well aware of how technological advances have played out … in the past. But those were machines that helped man do work.

        In this case, we are talking about machines that can mine ore autonomously, transfer the ore in self-driving vehicles to the mill, run the mill, move the finished goods to points of consumption, and then make more of themselves all without human intervention.

        It’s a different ball game.

      • Now, when the day arrived for the emergence of all creatures and Prometheus came to examine his brother’s work, he noticed that Epimetheus had not devised anything for the preservation of humans.

        So in order to correct his brother’s mistake, Prometheus stole wisdom in arts from Hephaestus and Athena, along with fire, so that men could exercise those crafts, and gave all these gifts to humanity.

        Probably fearing the consequences of his own cleverness, Prometheus told his brother Epimetheus never to take a gift from Zeus, but Epimetheus, a man with no foresight, accepted Zeus’ gift (Pandora), and he only later understood what had happened.

        For until that time men lived free from ills, toil and sicknesses, but Pandora opened a jar containing all kinds of evils, and these flew out, afflicting mankind ever since. Only Hope remained there.

        Others affirm that Pandora was not a curse sent from heaven, but that Pandora, who was endowed with all kinds of gifts, was given by the gods to men because the gods wished to show all mortals that they could do even better than Prometheus, who had given them fire.


      • Aw, heck, Springer(probably), is jealous again. Sock it to me; you’ve improved, you now remember the double underlining.

        Judy, I don’t mind the dunce’s corner, the cap fits sumpin’ wizard.

      • The irony is that I read David Springer; he’s often thought provoking. But he shivers in horror at the sight of my stuff; sounds like a personal problem.

        Adieu, adieu kind friends adieu.

      • David Springer

        Just frickin’ register your dumb ass, Kim. No one is going to hunt you down, chop you up, and put pieces of Kim all over town. Paranoia will destroy ya.

        I couldn’t care less about your cryptic droppings so long as they follow the 5% rule so it’s not a chore to step around them. If it floats your boat trying to be clever go for it. Crossword puzzles are more befitting for your age and gender however. Just a suggestion.

    • 15,000 years ago nature could do almost all the work humans do today. All they had to do was walk around gathering up the food they needed. They spent most much of their time on recreation: hunting hard-to-catch animals for their meat, which while a valuable source of protein was really only a status symbol. (Same as for chimpanzees today.)

      Most of the remainder of their time they spent on other social activities, including constant battle.

      Several decades ago, I read a book (can’t find it online today) about various styles of “unarmed” combat. The author included football (US) as one of his styles. This points up the extent to which group violence serves social needs.

      So what’s going to happen when machines (“robots”) can do most of the work people do today? Well, most likely the primary social effect of the Industrial Revolution will be reversed: the vast majority of “jobs” created by the Industrial Revolution were dehumanizing repetitive motions better done by machines: it turned generations of humans into machines for their livelihoods.

      In the end, the system of national capitalism that co-evolved with the Industrial Revolution will become obsolete. What will replace it remains an open question.

      But I can point out (from memory, no links) some important milestones along the way:

      The US Civil War was fought primarily (IMO) over the threat that, with steamships, telegraphs, and especially the railroad, the threat of competition from slave-worked factories in the South became intolerable to the system of free factory workers in the North.

      Those workers constituted not only the labor force for the factories, but the customers. Because they were free to leave for other jobs, there were strong free-market forces keeping wages up. Those high wages were essential to keeping up a market for most of what was being manufactured.

      But the cheap shipping and communications due to steamships, telegraph, and railroads brought the potential for small parts of the manufacturing process to be moved south, which wouldn’t have been economical before that. Thus a gradual replacement of free laborers/customers by slaves would have eliminated most of the market.

      So slavery had to end.

      Similarly, the process of “off-shoring” a variety of jobs with “globalization” is already destroying the balance in the US that held until the late 20th century. Many foreign cultures have far lower standards of living, as well as far lower prices. American workers can’t compete. Robots and other machines will only continue that process.

      If our culture is to continue a system based on an “Economy of Scarcity” then means will have to be found to transfer buying power from the sellers to buyers who don’t have any necessary contribution to make to the economy.

      There are many ways this could be accomplished, but which would work, and especially which will be implemented, remains a hard (wicked?) problem.

      Or a new system could be implemented based on partial scarcity.

      • Ak,

        That’s the most messed up explanation for the cause of the Civil War I’ve ever seen.

      • Well, it’s not the 97% consensus position.

      • Point taken.

        Could have said interesting, unique, or other adjectives than messed up.

      • Thing is, most of the popular “explanations” are in terms of things that are as much effects as the war itself. IMO.

        The issue of slavery was a “hot button” all the way back to the Revolution. The question is, why did it turn into an implacable conflict when it did? Why not before? England made it illegal internally in 1706.

        The importance of technological development in changing the course of local economies is demonstrated by the results of the c0tt0n gin. Simply, increasing automation combined with slavery could have out-competed any system of capitalism that depended on a paid labor force for its customers. Either the South had to be separated from the north, with heavy tariff barriers to prohibit import of cheaper products, or slavery had to end.

        One of the most important effects of free-market capitalism is that investors and entrepreneurs with good foresight for such social, economic, and political trends tend to become richer, and thus more powerful. This trend is pretty visible by hindsight, but to the smartest of contemporary capitalists it would have been visible by foresight.

        Thus, it’s a good hypothesis that much of the growing opposition to slavery, including the use of trains to transport abolitionist literature, would have been supported by capitalists out of pure self-interest. The moral issue would just have reinforced the matter.

      • The issue of slavery in the civil war was an after thought, it was popularized to prevent the anti-slave UK from supporting the south.

      • AK,

        So slavery didn’t end in the United States because of the religious convictions of the abolitionists, or because of some fleeting solidarity between free blacks and the labor movement, but because of the clairvoyance of the capitalists?

        Has a more self-serving argument been advanced since Nero argued he threw the Christians to the lions because they wanted to be martyred?

        One thing is for sure, though, and that is that the myth of the benevolent capitalist and technological manias (along with the speculative bubbles they spawn) go together like Thelma and Louise.

        It was, after all, Henry Ford who argued he had doubled wages in his automobile manufacturing plants because he realized he should pay his workers sufficiently large sums so that they could afford the products they were making.

        The reality, however, was something quite different. Ford’s doubling of wages had much more to do with Adam Smith’s Law of Population, the comidification of labor and labor becoming subject to the dynamics of supply and demand:

        Henry Ford was a hard-nosed businessman; he didn’t introduce the $5 workday because he was a nice guy, says Bob Kreipke, corporate historian for the Ford Motor Co.

        “It was mainly to stabilize the workforce.”


        And it was, after all, Henry Ford who, just months before all hell broke loose with the Great Depression and WWII, penned this starry-eyed ode to the technological mania of his day:

        Machinery is accomplishing in the world what man has failed to do by preaching, propaganda or the written word. The airplaine and the radio know no boundary… They are binding the world together in a way no other system can. The motion picture, with its universal language, the airplane with its speed, the radio with its coming international program — these will soon bring the world to a complete understanding. Thus may be visioned a United States of the world. Ultimately, it will surely come.

        — HENRY FORD, Machinery and the New Messiah

        “This may seem a fantastical creed, and so it is,” John Gray notes in Al Qaeda and What It Means to Be Modern. “What is more fantastic is that it is still widely believed. It shapes the programmes of mainstream political parties throughtout the world. It guides the policies of agencies such as the International Monetary Fund. It animates the ‘war on terror’.”

      • So slavery didn’t end in the United States because of the religious convictions of the abolitionists, […]

        There were abolitionists in 1810. Even in 1793 when Eli Whitney made his crucial invention.

        [… O]r because of some fleeting solidarity between free blacks and the labor movement, […]

        The notion that “Labor” and capitalist “management” are always at odds is a Marxist myth.

        Northern “labor” had as much or more to lose from the “outsourcing” of manufacturing to slave-worked factories as Northern capital. And I doubt the capitalists would have been slow about pointing this out.

        [… B]ut because of the clairvoyance of the capitalists?

        I wouldn’t credit the “clairvoyance of the capitalists”. I would consider it a given, part of the general situation in a capitalist society.

        The actual reason I gave for the end of slavery was the advent of cheap, reliable, transportation and communication, and the threat that it could enable the outsourcing of manufacturing to the South.

        As long as transport and communication were too slow and unreliable for breaking up the parts of manufacturing and doing parts of it in the South, both “Labor” and capital in the North benefited from the cheap cotton.

      • AK,

        Maybe I should fill in with a little more detail.

        The right’s “War on Terrorism” is underpinned by a technological mania.

        This mania is equal in its unreality to the mania which informs the left’s “War on Fossil Fuels”: the so-called renewables “revolution” or “transformation.”

        Here’s how John Mearsheimer explains it:

        The neo-conservatives’ faith in the efficacy of bandwagoning was based in good part on their faith in the so-called revolution in military affairs (RMA).

        In particular, they believed that the United States could rely on stealth technology, air-delivered precision-guided weapons, and small but highly mobile ground forces to win quick and decisive victories. They believed that the RMA gave the Bush administration a nimble military instrument which, to put it in Muhammad Ali’s terminology, could “float like a butterfly and sting like a bee.”

        The American military, in their view, would swoop down out of the sky, finish off a regime, pull back and reload the shotgun for the next target. There might be a need for US ground troops in some cases, but that force would be small in number. The Bush doctrine did not call for a large army. Indeed, heavy reliance on a big army was antithetical to the strategy, because it would rob the military of the nimbleness and flexibility essential to make the strategy work.

        This bias against big battalions explains why deputy secretary of defense Paul Wolfowitz (a prominent neo-conservative) and secretary of defense Donald Rumsfeld dismissed out of hand (the then US army chief of staff) General Eric Shinsheki’s comment that the United States would need “several hundred thousand troops” to occupy Iraq.

        Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz understood that if the American military had to deploy huge numbers of troops in Iraq after Saddam was toppled, it would be pinned down, unable to float like a butterfly and sting like a bee. A large-scale occupation of Iraq would undermine the Bush administration’s plan to rely on the RMA to win quick and decisive victories.

        In sum, the RMA was supposed to make bandwagoning work, which, in turn, would make big-stick diplomacy work, which, in turn, would make a unilateralist foreign policy feasible.


      • So slavery didn’t end in the United States because of the religious convictions of the abolitionists, […]

        There were abolitionists in 1810. Even in 1793 when Eli Whitney made his crucial invention.

        [… O]r because of some fleeting solidarity between free blacks and the labor movement, […]

        The notion that “Labor” and capitalist “management” are always at odds is a Marxist myth.

        Northern “labor” had as much or more to lose from the “outsourcing” of manufacturing to slave-worked factories as Northern capital. And I doubt the capitalists would have been slow about pointing this out.

        [… B]ut because of the clairvoyance of the capitalists?

        I wouldn’t credit the “clairvoyance of the capitalists”. I would consider it a given, part of the general situation in a capitalist society.

        The actual reason I gave for the end of slavery was the advent of cheap, reliable, transportation and communication, and the threat that it could enable the outsourcing of manufacturing to the South.

        As long as transport and communication were too slow and unreliable for breaking up the parts of manufacturing and doing parts of it in the South, both “Labor” and capital in the North benefited from the cheap c0tt0n.

      • @Glenn Stehle…

        I’m not sure what you’re on about with “technological mania.” Technological developments can have disruptive and/or transformational effects, as is obvious to anybody who’s kept their eyes open over the last few decades.

        As for Iraq, it was obvious to me from the first that it would become Viet Nam 2.0.

      • If the UK was anti-slave, then how do you explain this?
        From the article:

        British Involvement in the Transatlantic Slave Trade
        Boarding the slave ship
        For well over 300 years, European countries forced Africans onto slave ships and transported them across the Atlantic Ocean.

        The first European nation to engage in the Transatlantic Slave Trade was Portugal in the mid to late 1400’s. Captain John Hawkins made the first known English slaving voyage to Africa, in 1562, in the reign of Elizabeth 1. Hawkins made three such journeys over a period of six years. He captured over 1200 Africans and sold them as goods in the Spanish colonies in the Americas.

        To start with, British traders supplied slaves for the Spanish and Portuguese colonists in America. However, as British settlements in the Caribbean and North America grew, often through wars with European countries such as Holland, Spain and France, British slave traders increasingly supplied British colonies


      • AK,

        So your argument is that the south could have industrialized using low-cost slave labor. This imagined threat, in turn, is something with which the northern capitalists could not compete, so, as a defensive move, they mobilized to end slavery.

        The problem with this speculation, however, is that it never happened.

        The south did not use slaves as industrial labour, creating a new source of profit for Dixie. Instead it fell into a staples trap. Its economy remained forever dependent on the production and exportaiton of primary materials.

        Industry requires highly educated and highly trained people. Ultimately, the goal is moving up to higher and higher value products. The entire reason to have slaves, on the other hand, is to keep the price of labor low.

        The trained slave has no reason to work as hard or as smart as free labor and therefore will be less productive. So you end up throwing more and more labor at the problem.

        Having a high-cost slave force makes no sense. If you are trying to have a low cost, but highly trained and productive, labor force, it’s best to have free labor and discard slavery entirely.

        Within the United States, the chore of keeping the cost of labor low is more often achieved with immigration: labor commodification, increasing the labor supply through immigration, and letting supply and demand do their work.

        Granted, some form of industrial slavery is possible. But it will never rival the productivity of a free labor force inculcated with the “middle class creed”:

        The middle classes were proud that their property, unlike that of the inheritances of the leisured clases, sprang from character, industry, continence and thrift, and they were therefore quite certain that any one endowed with similar virtues could equal the competence which they enjoyed. Failure to achieve such a competence was in itself proof of a lack of virtue.

        — REINHOLD NIEBUHR, Moral Man and Immoral Society

      • I used to buy fabric to make hot-air balloons at an old mill/factory in Graniteville, South Carolina. There was a little museum there at the factory complex. The factory, which was very old looking, used to make uniforms for the Confederates. The employees had to shop at the company store, and they were paid, at least in part, with wooden tokens.

      • Glenn Stehle | February 14, 2016 at 9:29 am |

        The right’s “War on Terrorism” is underpinned by a technological mania.

        I believe you have this wrong Glenn. During Obama’s first term, the Dimowits controlled Congress. The left could have gotten rid of all the spying on citizens, but did not.

        In fact, just about everyone in the government is for spying on citizens. It cements in their place of power.

        Do you believe that Pakistan, for example, will use encryption tools created by Google, some other US tech company, or the US government? I don’t think so. Terrorists won’t use them either. They will create their own secure encryption tools, because everyone knows, or should strongly suspect, that those have back doors.

        So, all this spying isn’t really catching much in the way of terrorism, but it does allow the government to identify those who don’t like current policy or believe this government has way overreached its Constitutional and otherwise legal power.

        So, really, the spying is all about taking our individual freedom. Neither left nor right want to get rid of it.

      • jim2,

        It certainly was not my intention to absolve the Democratic party.

        I agree with what Greg Grandin wrote in Kissinger’s Shadow:

        And yet today the national security state — its endless war, its all-pervasive system of domestic spying, and the ability of its agents to defend any action, no matter how illegal or immoral, from indefinite detention and targeted assasinations of individuals not charged with any crime to unregulated drone warfare and torture — is stronger than ever….

        Amnesia, or paralysis, is created by the fact that the two parties in our two-party system basically share a common set of assumptions regarding national defense and the righteousness of American power in the world.

        I also agree with what you said: “In fact, just about everyone in the government is for spying on citizens. It cements in their place of power.”

        It is a universal truth that the loss of liberty at home is to be charged to the provisions against danger, real or pretended…


      • However slavery was the cornerstone of the South’s plantation economy; yet it was repugnant to the moral sensibilities of most people in Britain, which had abolished slavery in its Empire in 1833. But up to the fall of 1862, the immediate end of slavery was not an issue in the war; in fact, some Union states (Kentucky, Maryland, Missouri, Delaware, and what became West Virginia) allowed slavery…Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation announced in preliminary form in September 1862, by making ending slavery an objective of the war, had caused European intervention on the side of the South to be politically unappetizing.

    • The problem with AI is the technocracy. As it is the vast minority, it requires much automation to control the vast majority.

      There is where danger lies, if any.

    • I REALLY can’t stand this fear of the future and everything new. Bunch of crybabies.

      • The future? What about now, the future of days past? If you aren’t already scared, that may explain why you are annoyed about fears of the future. Have you been keeping up?

        From the article:

        The American people’s trust in their government is the lowest it has been in the past 10 years, according to three Gallup polls released in 2015, with 75 percent of respondents saying they believe corruption is widespread in the government and in government regulation of business. Although property rights are guaranteed and the judiciary functions independently and predictably, protection of those rights in practice has been uneven.

        The regulatory burden continues to increase. Over 180 new major federal regulations have been imposed on business operations since early 2009 with estimated annual costs of nearly $80 billion. Labor regulations are not rigid, but other government policies, such as excessive occupational licensing, restrict growth in employment opportunities. Damaging monetary policies, tangled webs of corporate welfare, and various subsidies have bred economic distortions.


        From the article:

        The US government, with assistance from major telecommunications carriers including AT&T, has engaged in massive, illegal dragnet surveillance of the domestic communications and communications records of millions of ordinary Americans since at least 2001. Since this was first reported on by the press and discovered by the public in late 2005, EFF has been at the forefront of the effort to stop it and bring government surveillance programs back within the law and the Constitution.


  4. Here is the correct link to the article about early instrumental temperature records (the one above was missing “.html” —

    “Early global warming” by Victor Venema at his website — “How much did the world warm during the transition to Stevenson screens around 1900?”


    • VV? See GG, somewhere in the thread on his L&S temps.

      • Hint: Bias Alarm to Eleventy.

      • My conjecture is that there was more warming over land around 1900 than currently thought. According to Brandon Schollenberger more warming before 1950 is good for the mitigation skeptical movement.

        Whatever the case, I am sure all would agree that more evidence and more accurate estimates of the global warming signal are better.

        That is why I am collecting parallel measurements, where older and newer measurement set-ups are observing side by side, from all over the world. To estimate how large the warm bias in early instrumental observations was globally.

        When anyone here knows of such datasets, I would be very grateful when they would contact me.

      • Victor

        I have previously referenced you to the Mitchell curves. There was warming around 1850 to 1870 then a cool decade in 1880 and a slightly warmer end to the century.

        Yes, we obviously need as much information as possible but it needs to be worthwhile. You know my opinion on sst’s to 1850 . They are far too sparse and unreliable to be used as any sort of scientific measure other than the very limited Challenger material. We also then have the problems relating to the 1940’s.

        I see sou has just commented on a bob tisdale article and she uses 1951 as the start date. I would put the reliable date as the 1960’s but I won’t quibble over one decade


      • some of my oceanographer friends regard pacific and southern ocean as pretty unreliable prior to 1980

      • According to Brandon Schollenberger more warming before 1950 is good for the mitigation skeptical movement.

        No, what he actually says is

        can only help fuel global warming skepticism.

        He does not talk about a “movement” neither does he talk about “mitigation” that is your politically mindset misinterpreting what he wrote and misquoting him. He said it would be good for scepticism about global warming.

        Thus maybe we overlooked a source of bias in the sea surface temperature as well…. The sea surface temperature was measured by sampling a bucket of water and measuring its temperature. During the measurement, the water would evaporate and cool.

        The only bias you are overlooking is your desire to “correct” all aspects of the global temp record to fit you favourite hypothesis. The most trivial search would reveal that this issue of buckets etc. has been heavily “corrected” already. There was far more cooling in that period before it got removed.

        “….results for model runs that only include greenhouse gases”

        Venema captions says; “Figure from Jones et al. (2013) with our box added to estimate the temperature increase.”

        So you estimate the temperature increase ( which you are casting as both data bias and a erroneous aerosol component in models ) by comparing to IPCC models with GHG only . You will also note that those runs show a greatly exaggerated warming at the end.
        Perhaps a more logical conclusion is that the AGW component is wrong.

        BTW Bohm et al non verifiable and therefore not science. They will not release the data the study was based on. It has obvious errors but the effects of that cannot be assessed. NOT science.
        Kremsmünster, Austria North-wall window screen; Böhm et al. (2010) 0.2°C


        While the CMIP5 climate model runs did not show much warming in our period, the runs for the last millennium of the PMIP3 project do show some warming, although it strongly depends on the exact period; see below..

        Well the period in your box starts high and ends lows. In most peoples book that is called cooling not warming. But apparently you can see black as appearing fairly white since it “depends on the exact period”.

      • Judith

        I don’t know if supporters and admirers qualify as friends but you certainly have many of them.

      • Thanks, Greg. Now why can’t David Springer be more like Greg Goodman?

  5. In honor of Valentine’s day: Can You Really Die From a Broken Heart? [link]


    There are neural cardiac pathways as well. One can be “frightened to death” etc.


    Mood disorders, like depression from a loss, may influence cardiac function via the sympathetic/parasympathetic pathways.

    Indeed. The whole organism is integrated so it is no surprise that “loss” impacts all systems to one degree or another. When there is disorder (disease) in a system: circulatory; neurological; digestive; pulmonary; endocrine; renal, orthopedic, etc., these systems will express and/or respond when other systems are perturbed.

    Kinda like weather/climate you know?

    Aside: For the human organism, CO2 is not a toxin at 40,000 PPMv.

    For the human species to survive, keeping in good order all the systems; i.e., balance, seems to be the key. Part of the balance is keeping our head on straight and we do that best with trusted relationships. Loss of one of those whom are trusted and, we don’t do very well, at least for a while, until we can rebuild trust; and that happens when we either tune out or the person shouting: FIRE! FIRE! FIRE! shuts up. Then we can reach out and touch someone again.

    VD is a celebration of relationships.

    • I thought Valentine’s Day was a marketing scam designed to promote the sales of flowers, chocolate, greeting cards and fancy dinners.

      • You’re right of course that VD is a course in consumerism to be taken by those whose lives are smitten by someone who has touched them.

        Something to do, I guess.

      • The original idea of St Valentine’s day was for that of an undeclared love. A coming out party if you like. A social excuse to encourage those who dare not declare their ‘love’ for whatever reason.

        As such it has no meaning for those in established, declared relationships. So mostly, yes, it’s been perverted into commercial chocolates, flowers and dinner event : a marketing scam.

    • CO2 is not a toxin at 40,000 PPMv. The limits in submarines and in the space station are below 10,000. Are you sure about the 40,000?

      • You exhale 40,000 PPM. If 40,000 PPM CO2 was toxic kissing would be deadly.

        Above 5% is considered toxic. You can tolerate (barely) 5% but breathe 4 times as fast and will probably be drowsy or have other symptoms.

        Higher levels can be toxic in minutes.

        In any case if you limit your tongue wrestling to less than a minute you should be safe..

  6. RE: “The chips are down for Moore’s law.” The semiconductor industry will soon abandon its pursuit of Moore’s law. Now things could get a lot more interesting.

    Everyone agrees that the twilight of Moore’s law will not mean the end of progress.

    Well thank goodness for that.

    Anything that might disabuse us of our reigning national mythology is an unpardonable apostasy.

    As Arthur Schlesinger Jr. put it:

    Niebuhr emphasized the mixed and ambivalent character of human nature — creative impulses matched by destructive impulses, regard for others overruled by excessive self-regard, the will to power, the individual under constant temptation to play God to history. This is what was known in the ancient vocabulary of Christianity as the doctrine of original sin….

    The notion of sinful man was uncomfortable for my generation. We had been brought up to believe in human innocence and even in human perfectibility.

    This was less a liberal delusion than an expression of an all-American DNA.

    Andrew Carnegie had articulated the national faith when, after acclaiming the rise of man from lower to higher forms, he declared: “Nor is there any conceivable end to his march to perfection.”

    In 1939, Charles E. Merriam of the University of Chicago, the dean of American political scientists, wrote in “The New Democracy and the New Despotism”: “There is a constant trend in human affairs toward the perfectibility of mankind. This was plainly stated at the time of the French Revolution and has been reasserted ever since that time, and with increasing plausibility.”

    Human ignorance and unjust institutions remained the only obstacles to a more perfect world. If proper education of individuals and proper reform of institutions did their job, such obstacles would be removed. For the heart of man was O.K. The idea of original sin was a historical, indeed a hysterical, curiosity that should have evaporated with Jonathan Edwards’s Calvinism.


    • Nice references to the propagandistic notion of progress being impeded by ignorance and unjust institutions.
      Sadly, the real barriers to progress are the same as they’ve always been: barriers erected against potential competitors from the masses by those in power.
      In the past, it was feudalism.
      Today, it is economic fascism.
      Same rhyme, different tune.

      • c1ue said:

        Sadly, the real barriers to progress are the same as they’ve always been: barriers erected against potential competitors from the masses by those in power.

        Well nothing like a little Marx to get things going on a Saturday morning.

        But you know, not everyone agrees with “Marx’s estimate of the state as an instrument of oppression in the hands of the ruling class.” (Hannah Arendt, “On Violence”)

        One such dissident is Amatai Etzioni. As he explains in The Moral Dimension, one of the most important observations about the application of interventionist power is that

        interventionist power can be applied whether or not an actor commands economic power….

        The theorem just stated above is in opposition to the Marxist notion that political power merely or largely reflects economic power. While it is true that if an actor commands economic power it might be converted into interventionist power, economic power is not a prerequisite for internentionist power, and interventionist power is often the source of economic power. While many actors command both kinds of power, there is no necessary correlation between the two.

        There are three basic forms of distribution of interventionist power: pluralism, oligarchy, and hegemony. Pluralism occurs when political power is more or less evenly distributed among a large number of actors.

        Democracy is said by many political scientists to be pluralistic because the government responds to the demands of a large variety of politically active groups.

      • Sadly, you don’t seem to understand that Marxism isn’t the only school of thought that considers the role of elites in preserving their own privileges to be negative.
        The original American Revolution was one example: do you consider the Founding Fathers to be Marxist? They were rebelling against the existing privileges of the British monarchy.
        For that matter, the episode America is experiencing today is another excellent example. Under “Democracy”, we now have a large and widening gap between the Washington politicians and New York banksters and everyone else.
        But no doubt you’re far too worried about non-existent Commies to focus on the actual criminals…

  7. The JPL parched earth affects SLR paper is awful. I guest posted a simple but devastating refutation yesterday over at WUWT using Amazon and Congo. In the comments several Australians came up with a third refutation from their regional knowledge, Queensland. That this got through peer review given the core graphic shows how far Science as a journal has sunk.

    • I enjoyed your debunking of the SLR article, Rud.

    • It reads like a denial of observational evidence based on some internal disbelief. Surely higher rain rates can lead to more groundwater as one possible cause. You need to try to explain observations, not automatically deny them based on armwaving.

      • Jim D, it is true that in some places, more rain can be atored as more groundwater and raise water tables. Southern California is such a place. But NOT the Amazon. What part of the Amazon ground truth do you not understand? A water saturated basin that drains to the sea cannot accumulate more water at all, let alone in the amounts of many hundreds of cubic kilometers asserted by JPL. That is not armwaving disbelief. Put even more simply for you: The Amazon bathtub is already full of water especially in the locations JPL’s map had the darkest blue, and any excess returns to the sea via the largest river system in the world. I provided maps and photos. Ditto for the Congo basin, although less saturated seasonally thanks to greater elevation change. Did you even read the simple refutation?

        There is something wrong with the GRACE observations when JPL publishes that GRACE found the Amazon and Congo basins accumulated the most additional groundwater. That ‘observation’ is simply impossible. It is NASA JPLs job to figure out what and why. Not mine. Sorry if this creates a disturbance in your force, a gravity wave in the fabric of your belief system. Simple facts can do that sometimes.

      • As long as it is at least half-way semi-plausible and fits in with the warmist dogma, it will pass pal review and little yimmy will add it to his litany of incessant BS.

      • As long as it is at least half-way semi-plausible and fits in with the reactionary dogma, it passes… no matter what…

        It’s global…

        And there are prior studies about water storage in the Amazon basin.

      • of course Grace estimates have been compared to in situ measurements in the Amazon.


      • You persist in blaming the observations when your saturated model of the Amazon doesn’t fit them. Since the Amazon is so close to sea-level it makes a lot of sense that a sea-level rise affects its own water storage and flow rates.

      • “Launched by National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the Deutsche Zentrum
        für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR) in March 2002, the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment
        (GRACE) satellite mission aimed at mapping time variations in the Earth’s gravity field, making it
        applicable to the assessment of water storage under all types of terrestrial conditions [7,8]. Although
        the spatial and temporal resolution (no better than 160,000 km2
        weekly or monthly) is low compared
        with that of other satellite missions, the major advantage of GRACE is that it can “sense” water stored
        at all levels, including groundwater [9]. In contrast to other technologies, such as radars and

        “Over the past decade, GRACE has been used to estimate regional water-storage variations
        (e.g., in the U.S. [11], the Amazon River basin [12–15], the Yangtze River basin [16,17], the Congo
        River basin [18] and the Lake Victoria [19]), monitor the mass balance of Antarctica [20,21] and
        Greenland [22–24] as well as evaluate the contributions of glaciers and ice caps to sea-level
        rise [25,26]. With the surface water storage variations estimated, for example, from the Global Land
        Data Assimilation System (GLDAS) and then subtracted from the terrestrial water storage (TWS),
        GRACE presents a new opportunity to monitor the groundwater storage variations. For instance,
        Rodell et al. [27] simulated the soil moisture and snow by GLDAS and isolated groundwater storage
        variations from GRACE-derived TWS for the Mississippi River basin and its four sub-basins. Water
        Remote Sens. 2015, 7 688
        level records from 58 wells were used for results validation and evaluation. They found that the
        GRACE-GLDAS estimations correspond well with those from monitoring well observations.
        Rodell et al. [9] used the GRACE and GLDAS data for the period from August 2002 to October 2008,
        and demonstrated that groundwater was being depleted at an average rate of 4.0 ± 1.0 cm/year in terms
        of EWH (17.7 ± 4.5 km3
        /year) over the Indian states of Rajasthan, Punjab, and Haryana (including
        Delhi). They suggested that irrigation consumption and other anthropogenic uses are the main causes.
        Tiwari et al. [28] combined the GRACE data with hydrological models to remove natural variability
        and found that northern India and its surroundings lost groundwater at a rate of 54 ± 9 km3
        between 2002 and 2008, which was considered the largest rate of groundwater losses in any
        comparable-sized region. Voss et al. [29] evaluated the freshwater storage trend in the north-central
        Middle East using GRACE data and showed a decline rate of water storage within the study area of
        approximately −27.2 ± 0.6 mm/year from 2003 to 2009. After further analysis with additional
        information and GLDAS output, they concluded that the groundwater losses are the main cause of this
        decrease. Jin and Feng [30] derived the global TWS from GRACE observations during approximately
        10 years and obtained the groundwater storage by subtracting the surface water simulated by GLDAS
        and WaterGAP Global Hydrology Model (WGHM). They considered the GRACE-GLDAS as a
        reliable means to detect large-scale global groundwater storage variations. Feng et al. [3] estimated the
        regional groundwater storage changes from GRACE in North China and found that the groundwater
        decline rate reached 2.2 ± 0.3 cm/year through GRACE-based compared with that between 2.0 and
        2.8 cm/year from monitoring well records within the same period. They analyzed the difference
        between GRACE results and the numbers from Groundwater Bulletin of China Northern Plains
        (GBCNP), and concluded that the groundwater depletion from deep aquifers in the plain and piedmont
        regions is the main cause. which are limited to measurement of atmospheric and near-surface phenomena, GRACE
        is able to detect water storage variations of all depths, including groundwater, with accuracy of better
        than 1 cm of equivalent water height (EWH) [10]. “

      • I wanna know what Steve Fitzpatrick thinks.

      • Congo



        “The goal of GRACE satellite is to determine time-variations of the Earth’s gravity,
        and particularly the effects of fluid mass redistributions at the surface of the Earth. This paper
        uses GRACE Level-2 RL05 data provided by CSR to estimate water storage variations of four
        river basins in Asia area for the period from 2003 to 2011. We apply a two-step filtering
        method to reduce the errors in GRACE data, which combines Gaussian averaging function and
        empirical de-correlation method. We use GLDAS hydrology to validate the result from
        GRACE. Special averaging approach is preformed to reduce the errors in GLDAS. The results
        of former three basins from GRACE are consistent with GLDAS hydrology model. In the
        Tarim River basin, there is more discrepancy between GRACE and GLDAS. Precipitation data
        from weather station proves that the results of GRACE are more plausible. We use spectral
        analysis to obtain the main periods of GRACE and GLDAS time series and then use least
        squares adjustment to determine the amplitude and phase. The results show that water storage
        in Central Asia is decreasing.”

      • As the SNL Church Lady used to say, isn’t this special? As WW2 bomber pilots used to say, taking heavy flack means you are over target.
        SM throws up some heavy flack. I did some spot checking. His first linked reference studies 10 day interval variations in Amazon seasonal water, using some regression models to say there is general agreement over a period from 2003 to 2006. That does not say anything about the JPL 2002-2014 water retention claim based on a sat system that has been deteriorating since launch, and was probably pretty good for the first few years. The second random reference checked delt with central Asia Himalayan glaciers. While interesting (and arguably wrong based of fieldwork — essay Himalayan glaciers) its nothing to do with massive water retention in the Amazon, Congo, or Queensland. The third reference checked was amusingly a paper concerning the supposed SLR 2010-2011 dip the water was mostly in the Australian outback) that I had already specifically referenced and debunked in the original SLR essay comcerning all this nonsense. Gave up after that. Three strikes and you are out.
        Such a vehement frenzied attempted (and failing) rebuttal effort can only mean my simple, short, deliberately visual, common sense, layman oriented refutation of this JPL impossibility must hurt warmunists a lot.

      • You have to do more than spot check Rud.

        if you check the validation studies you will find that the areas you are concerned about happen to have the largest errors.!! Note I did include material that will help you make your case.. gosh.

        That said.. You simply cannot conclude the increase in TWS is “impossible” in that area. In other words its a lot more complicated than you make out. plus you really need to look at a DEM for the area.

        But just like UAH you can find areas where GRACE is validated against in situ measures

      • ristvan: What part of the Amazon ground truth do you not understand? A water saturated basin that drains to the sea cannot accumulate more water at all, let alone in the amounts of many hundreds of cubic kilometers asserted by JPL. That is not armwaving disbelief.

        On the basis of this evidence and the links cited by Mosher, you ought to reconsider your prior beliefs, and review all this evidence thoroughly instead of cursorily. I don’t have them to hand, but there have been many reports over the past decades of the Amazon Basin being “dry” compared to historical standards.

        The paper requires confirmation by other studies, but your comments are superficial, imo.

      • MM, with due respect, check your geography. South Brazil, for example Sao Paulo, is relatively dry compared to norms. True. And MSM reported. Now look at a map of Brazil, comparing the portion I posted ‘above the buldge’. Whichnis the Amazon. Sao Paulo is well south of the southern edge of the Amazon basin, below the buldge.
        Did you know that over the last 100 years, rainfall in the Amazon basin averages about 2300 mm/ year? What on gods Earth can people not understand about saturated basin soils?

      • I have to go with Rud on this one.
        I’ve actually been to the Amazon. In the rainy season, the river speeds up. That seems pretty clear substantiation for saturation effect posited by Mr. Istvan.
        I’ve also been there in the ‘dry’ season. It is only dry in comparison.

      • As Mosher implies, the rivers may swell. This whole area is close to sea level, and it would be no surprise if the rivers have swelled during the sea-level rise, and GRACE would show that as a mass increase. If you have a different reason for the observed mass increase, have at it.

      • ristvan: MM, with due respect, check your geography.

        Naturally I’ll be following this story in the future, but is there any evidence that the Amazon Basin has been “saturated” and can’t hold any more water than it has been holding? Witnessing floods in the rainy seasons hardly counts, because even rainy seasons show year to year fluctuations in how much rain falls and how much runs off in a short period of time; and the rainy seasons alternate with dry seasons that are drier in some seasons and in some regions than others. Could you possibly have observed from a few ground locations whether the whole basin did or did not retain 20% more ground water than usual?

      • c1ue: I’ve also been there in the ‘dry’ season. It is only dry in comparison.

        Could you possibly have ascertained from some observations in some times and some places whether the Amazon Basin (a rather large region, as you know) might have a 20% or so increased water retention, net over a decade? No. You can not tell from observing the floods how much more or less water is soaking in to the deeper soil.

        GRACE may be in error, and requires confirmation, but your and ristvan’s comments are totally uninformative.

      • As long as we are admitting personal observations, I have frequently observed the two processes in several regions of the US and overseas: that is to say, water flowing across the ground toward creeks and rivers while in the same location the ground is soaking up more and more water. The claim that, in the instance of an Amazonian flood, the existence of runoff and down stream flooding is evidence that the ground is saturated, is insupportable without much more than what ristvan has supplied here.

        He has written as though ti is a two-stage process, instead of concurrent processes: first the rainwater is absorbed by the soil until the soil is saturated; then the water starts to flow downhill across the surface.

      • “Did you know that over the last 100 years, rainfall in the Amazon basin averages about 2300 mm/ year? What on gods Earth can people not understand about saturated basin soils?”

        Did you know that it VARIES,
        and that ground water storage changes?
        and that evapotranspiration changes?
        and that runoff changes?


        12. Chen, J.L.; Wilson, C.R.; Tapley, B.D.; Yang, Z.L.; Niu, G.Y. 2005 drought event in the Amazon
        River basin as measured by GRACE and estimated by climate models. J. Geophys. Res.: Solid
        Earth 2009, 114, B05404.
        Remote Sens. 2015, 7 700
        13. Feng, W.; Lemoine, J.-M.; Zhong, M.; Hsu, T.-T. Terrestrial water storage changes in the
        Amazon basin measured by GRACE during 2002–2010. Chin. J. Geophys.–Chin. Ed. 2012, 55,
        14. Frappart, F.; Ramillien, G.; Ronchail, J. Changes in terrestrial water storage versus rainfall and
        discharges in the Amazon basin. Int. J. Climatol. 2013, 33, 3029–3046.
        15. Pokhrel, Y.N.; Fan, Y.; Miguez-Macho, G.; Yeh, P.J.F.; Han, S.-C. The role of groundwater in the
        Amazon water cycle: 3. Influence on terrestrial water storage computations and comparison with
        GRACE. J. Geophys. Res.: Atmos. 2013, 118, 3233–3244.

      • Once there were a people who practiced mitigation for a thousand years.


        Then they all caught a bug and died they say.

    • http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/jgrd.50335/pdf

      “We explore the mechanisms whereby groundwater influences terrestrial water storage
      (TWS) in the Amazon using GRACE observations and two contrasting versions of the
      LEAF-Hydro-Flood hydrological model: one with and the other without an interactive
      groundwater. We find that, first, where the water table is shallow as in northwestern
      Amazonia and floodplains elsewhere, subsurface stores (vadose zone and groundwater)
      are nearly saturated year-round, hence river and flooding dominate TWS variation; where
      the water table is deep as in southeastern Amazonia, the large subsurface storage capacity
      holds the infiltrated water longer before releasing it to streams, hence the subsurface
      storage dominates TWS variation. Second, over the whole Amazon, the subsurface water
      contribution far exceeds surface water contribution to total TWS variations. Based on
      LEAF-Hydro-Flood simulations, 71% of TWS change is from subsurface water, 24% from
      flood water, and 5% from water in river channels. Third, the subsurface store includes two
      competing terms, soil water in the vadose zone and groundwater below the water table. As
      the water table rises, the length of vadose zone is shortened and hence the change in
      groundwater store is accompanied by an opposite change in soil water store resulting in
      their opposite phase and contributions to total TWS. We conclude that the inclusion of a
      prognostic groundwater store and its interactions with the vadose zone, rivers, and
      floodplains in hydrological simulations enhances seasonal amplitudes and delays seasonal
      peaks of TWS anomaly, leading to an improved agreement with GRACE observations.”

      • davideisenstadt

        geez mosh:
        why not format your cut and paste excursions for us?

      • Exactly David. Free ice cream should be served on a silver platter and it must be my favorite flavor. Idiots who cull a treasure-trove of great papers for our benefit need to make it even more easy for us to consume and digest it because even the slightest effort to educate ourselves is a burden that should be borne by others.

      • Mosher has a point.

        TWS is not only ground water, it is any water in the system. Increased rain shows up some time as a positive anomaly before it flows off.

        But still, this is some VD crap.

      • “why not format your cut and paste excursions for us?”

        In order to remove multiple line breaks in one go, I post such PDF or emailed documents into Word, highlight them, and then use a Ctrl + Shift + H to replace all carriage returns with a space. (If there are multiple paragraphs, each must be fixed separately.) For speed, I’ve put this into a macro.

      • I doubt this would have any bearing, but they recently discovered a huge aquifer, which they’re calling a river, lying under much of the Amazon River basin. Looks like it recharges along the Andes.

      • figuring out TWS is a touch bit more complicated than Rud makes out

        Figuring out the standard error of a potential state on a spherical surface,is far more complicated then Mosher understands,as it is a large ill posed problem.


      • Steven: Nice links, thanks. They are not quite there yet, but getting mighty close. Given the limited time-frame of the GRACE data, making any climate claims is a reach… still just monitoring weather. Wake me up in 2035.

        JCH: The Hamza River is a deep (>4Km) saltwater porous media water-bearing formation and is not a river in any way shape or form… they are all over the place.

        Oil generally needs to be separated from the brines contained in these so-called underground rivers.

  8. “El Niño and climate change: Our wild weather may get wilder. Fred Pearce reports.”

    El Niño episodes roughly doubled in frequency during the coldest part of the Dalton Minimum through 1807-1817, there were zero aurora sightings in most of those years. El Niño episodes and conditions correlate well to slow solar wind periods through space age observations.

  9. Alan Longhurst

    That report about climate not being only problem for coral reefs is simply naive. The effect of fishing on reef health is nothing new and is much more interesting than that report suggests. The key is that many of the larger species of reef fish are herbivores, and their grazing activity reduces the growth of macroalgae; remove these fish and unhanced growth of seaweed then smothers the corals and prevents their growth. Even light fishing pressure by indigenous people can produce this effect. Now the problem is worst where unmanaged tourism is heavy and where the trade in large living specimens for export by air to Chinese restaurants is very active as in the SE Asian archipelagos. As I suggested in my “Mismanagement of marine fisheries” (Oxford UP) a few years back, there’s no solution to the problem because fishery management in these regions is non-existent and the authors “common conservation and management practices” are unknown there.

  10. Re: the CCP/Annenberg PPC study on public beliefs about climate change

    This is useful and interesting data, but lacks meaningful context. Climate change is the latest in a long series of roughly similar forecasts during the Boomers’ lives, of varying intensities and magnitudes. Nuclear war, air and water pollution, overpopulation, various chemicals (e.g., pesticides) — all of which, we were told, were almost certainly doom for us during the next few decades.

    Yet here we are, with the clock run out on those predictions. They might cause the end of things in the future, but the public has learned skepticism from the failure of specific predictions in the past (including a few about climate change).

    The story of public communication of science in our time might be “The Boy Who Cried Wolf.” Remember how it ended. Whose fault was it? Lots of answers to that.


      • But not with climate, instead, warming is a friendly dog, yearning to add value to the herd. The greening is a miraculous heaven sent angel canine, bearing a cornucopia.

      • The wolf is global cooling, and the alarmists are the little boy with false alarms.

      • Steven,

        “there was a wolf”

        Nice of you to tell us the ending of “The Boy who cried wolf”. Out of curiosity, do you believe that there are many people reading Climate Etc who do not know that?

      • Read children’s fables more, adjust temperature series less.

      • kim sez
        “But not with climate, instead, warming is a friendly dog, yearning to add value to the herd.”

        Wrong! Warming expands the range of invasive creatures yearning to eat our dogs and bite us, such as Burmese
        Pythons and all kinds of venomous snakes. These vile reptiles will invade your garden, your swimming pool, and even your bathroom. If you want to see all the trouble a snake in your toilet can cause, Watch this video of JesseAndMike.

      • kim. version 1
        “Heh, Judy, you can quit with the reviews; the science is settled. Climate can not be predicted so any policy about it is bound to be wrong.”

        kim version 2:
        “The wolf is global cooling, and the alarmists are the little boy with false alarms.”

      • Just not the one the boy kept claiming was there Steven.

        That’s the point of the story.

      • Adjust temperature series more, try to figure out kim less.

      • I’d have thought we’d had enough of splicing with ‘ hide
        the decline,’ without identity splicing at Judith’d e-salon.

      • I prefer the one where he huffed, and he puffed, …and he couldn’t blow down the house because the third piggy had built it from bricks. The wolf didn’t get the hint and go away, leading him to a sorry end where the piggy ends up eating him after the wolf came down the chimney into a pot of boiling water.

  11. Volcano ‘Little Ice Age’ contributed to famines & wars in 6th century.

    ? !
    Little Ice Age according to :
    NOAA 15th – 19th century
    NASA 1550 1850
    MetOffice 1550-1850
    Climate.gov 1350-1850

  12. Re: How much ice can Antarctica’s ice shelves afford to lose?

    Also interesting would be research to determine why ice sheets so often break off in pieces the size of Rhode Island.

    A quick Google search shows that breaks in 1995, 1998, 2002, and 2010 were all described like that.

    It can’t be a convention of journalists or scientists, since few Americans have any idea how large is Rhode Island — and, of course, it means nothing to non-Americans. All those papers and conferences about science communication…

    • Antarctica dumps ice into the southern oceans to cool the oceans.

      It will dump as much as necessary to limit the temperature to the same upper bounds as has been enforced during the past ten thousand years.

      When oceans are warm, polar oceans thaw, snowfall increases, ice volume increases, ice dumping increases, as much as necessary, to limit warming and sea level rise.

      This is simple basic principals.

      • Perhaps you meant simple basic Rhodelian principles?

        Personally I think the Editor is on to something. While Rhode Island (the state) has an area of 3,140 km^2 it is in fact several islands and the official area actually includes areas covered in water; inlets, bays, etc.

        Meanwhile the Island of Rhodes has an area of 1,408 km^2 which is almost half of the Rhode Island “standard”.

        Perhaps Prof. Curry could start an effort to move to a new standard, something internationally recognisable like Attu Island or Foley Island or Reunion Island or Tiwi Island.

        Of course any new standard island would have to be certified to ensure the surface area was not affected by tectonics or isostatic rebound or erosion, etc.

        Thick As A Brick.

  13. I attended a lecture at a marine station this week. One scientist who studies sharks was asked about how the sharks will survive ocean acidification by a member of the general public. He asked where she got the idea that ocean acidification was such a terrible threat to sharks. The woman replied she read Science and Nature Climate Change articles. He told her Science and Nature Climate Change aren’t real scientific periodicals. They are kind of cute newsy things, like the National Enquirer of science, and no good news about the environment is allowed to be published in them, and she should just stop reading them. I thought I was going to fall over laughing.

  14. The consequences linger paper shows how silly the climate models can be. Paywalled, but the SI is not. From the SI: First, select two models like Bern that assume CO2 sink saturation. Wrong, the land is greening and the oceans have 10x more coccolithophods. Second tune the ECS to 3.5 when all the recent observational energy budget studies are something like half that. Third, run CO2 scenarios in excess of AR5 RCP 8.5 (see SPM dig 5 a and b for the comparisons, and run the out to 2300. That is nonsense; there is not that much fossil fuel to be extracted. So the planet warms by 7C. Let it cook at that temperature for 10000 years (since the models do not have dynamic carbon sinks). And sure enough, in 10000 years the ice sheets in those models will melt enough to create ~20 to ~55 meters of sea level rise.

    Publish this obvious silliness in Nature Climate Change and send out ominous press releases saying this proves we have to stop emissions stat.

    Warmunists shouting ‘closet monster’ does not mean there is a monster in the closet. In this case, not even a closet.

    • We need to worry when sea level stops rising.

    • If you look at the scare mongering articles about Fukushima and global warming they have the same tone and degree of accuracy.

      For the record:
      Tsunami kills 18517
      Stress in Fukushima province kills 1,656
      Two nuclear plant workers have died – from external injuries.
      Deaths from radiation… waiting… waiting.

  15. Nic v. Gavin. I have been following this with interest to see how Mavel et. al. would respond. Gavin admits that Nic was correct that the paper used erroneous forcings. But the correction to the electronic preprint version of the paper does not credit Nic for finding the mistake, which McIntyre points out amounts to plagarism. Very bad academic form; grounds for automatic dismissal where I went to uni.
    Then Gavin paraphrases Nic’s other 5 observations, distorting each into a strawman he knocks down while missing/avoiding Nics clear and precise points. The worst IMO is Nics near certainty of the papers inclusion of a rogue simulation run likely caused by a published model parameterization error that was subsequently corrected in the other included simulations. Nic wondered why an obvious outlier almost certainly resulting from a known parameterization error would be included. Gavin simply claimed Nic advocated cherry picking, which ignores the very specific and fundamental quality issue he raised. Of course, inclusion of the rogue run strengthened the Marvel result, but in a bogus way. Right, Gavin, use all the stuff. ESPECIALLY all the bad stuff, so long as it supports the desired conclusion.
    More warmunist ‘climate science’ on display. Appalling behavior by the head of NASA GISS. Sadly, somehow unsurprising.

    • It’s time people recognised NASA are a governmental department, not a scientific institution.

      Schmidt is using political tactics, like inaccurate paraphrasing. The guy took Nick’s work and put it as his own, says it all imo. Schmidt is a talentless hack who should have studied logic

      Their reputation has been ruined over the past 30 years, not only by climate change WMAP is a farce, another fiction like CAGW

      • I’m pretty sure I caught him posing as a sky dragon slayer on an abc (aus) discussion forum about ten yes ago.

  16. “With just two degrees (Celsius) warming in the low-end scenario, sea levels are predicted to eventually rise by about 25 meters. With seven degrees warming at the high-end scenario, the rise is estimated at 50 meters, although over a period of several centuries to millennia.”

    This is fiction of Oregan State University and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.

    We had 8-10 degrees warming in the last warming cycle and sea level rise was less than 5 meters.

  17. Thanks for the link to the interesting article on Dementia and Alzheimer’s.

  18. As far as I can tell, Lewis did not deny the existence of an efficacy effect of the magnitude stated in the Marvel paper, and is only nibbling around the edges. The central issue that remains is that papers like Otto et al. that assume a global mean forcing change gives a correct sensitivity are ignoring this effect, and should be revised upwards to include it. The efficacy of aerosols reduces the net effective forcing, for example, leading to higher TCR. It’s just another problem with using past data to infer something as specific as TCR relative to GHGs which relies on disentangling other non-GHG effects, and is not that simple.

    • What do you make of this; nothing?


      Man makes it and with time it disappears. Who’s the wiser now do you assume?

      • Assuming has us in this mess. Assuming and then portraying the assumption as fact down the road.

        There is nothing empirical to show the rise in CO2 is actually caused by our emissions as the rate of CO2 growth is not relative to our emissions over time.

        Scientific claims supported by assumptions are not scientific at all, they are guesses. Lets be honest here.

        And for all the talk of aerosols, they are still fudges, nothing more.
        Lastly and most laughably, natural sources of CO2.. irrelevant apparently.

        The arrogance of thinking models are truth is.. almost as bad as thinking mathematics are truth

    • Jim D, You apparently have not read both Lewis posts plus the comments thereto and the Schmidt reply. You can get into trouble by spouting off belief based opinions before studying up. Judith’s link intro had it right: Gavin got schooled by Nic. Marvel and Schmidt even had to revise the electronic paper preprint; Gavin even said so at RealClimate.
      Your claims about Lewis here appear as uninformed as your comment upthread on my refutation of the fundamentally unsound JPL paper.
      You are bringing a rubber knife to a gunfight.

      • I am saying Lewis has not denied the existence of efficacy, nor its magnitude. If you can find otherwise, let me know. All he is doing is putting up smoke to distract from his not accounting for it in his own studies. He would do better to go ahead and see if he can revise his own estimates with this new factor.

      • If you had read Nic’s posts, you would realize he never denied the issue of efficacy. What he did do was two things. 1. Show that under most CMIP5 and other input assuptions (energy budget sensitivity studies) the difference between effective ECS and ECS is so small it can be neglected given the surrounding uncertainties. 2. That Marvel et. al. claiming otherwise is an outlier, an outlier probably because of (now admittedly wrong) forcings and inclusion of an impossibly rogue simulation resulting from an admittedly flawed model parameterization. Another rubber knife thrust.

    • Jim D

      As ristvan notes the issue isn’t the “existence of an efficacy effect”, its about whether in the modern climate you can assume they are each ~1 (as recent papers effectively do – there is no dispute here).

      Marvel argues (using model runs forced by each forcing separately) that this isn’t the case and therefore recent observational estimates of climate sensitivity need to be revised upwards because they over weight negative forcings.

      Lewis argues that Marvel made a series of errors in applying their model to calculate the effects of forcings, and that cumulatively Lewis concluded:

      “I have highlighted many serious problems with the Marvel et al. study. Because of them, its results would be of little or no relevance to observational estimation of TCR and ECS even if the real climate system responded to forcings similarly to GISS-E2-R. Using better justified estimation methods, and the GISS-E2-R effective rather than equilibrium climate sensitivity, the Historical iRF and ERF data are both found to produce efficacies within ~10% of unity, both using Marvel et al.’s estimates of the forcing from a doubling of CO2 and with them adjusted up. Marvel et al.’s claim to have shown that TCR and ECS estimated from recent observations will be biased low is wrong. Their study lacks credibility.”

      [Note the problems are not because GISS-E2-R might be an outlier – although one run clearly doesn’t model the climate we have had over the last 150 years and Lewis argues it should perhaps be dropped – the problems are the techniques and assumptions Marvel et al used are inappropriate.]

      Schmidt has acknowledged and corrected one error, but claimed the rest is nit picking. Lewis has responded, and sticks to his guns.

      Unfortunately Schmidt’s response is not precise enough to tell if he has any substance on his side, but Lewis’ response is and looks robust.

      • You can tell from the graph in the Marvel paper that the aerosol efficacy alone is far different from unity, so when is Lewis going to do his own model work on efficacy to plot something equivalent?

      • Jim D

        The point of the story is that the graph is part of the problem. Read the paper and Lewis’ critique. That way you won’t assume that your simple interpretation is what this is about.

  19. The academics who are pissed off about too much global warming denial in science classes are members of the National Center for Science Education (NCSE). They have a blog post covering this:


    You can give them a piece of your mind in the comments. I can’t:


    • NCSE made its name defending evolution. Now it has branched out (funding wise) into defending AGW, which is a very different matter. They are using the same old rhetorical tactics so should not fare well. Funny in its way.

      • I haven’t researched NCSE, but I suspect the “evolution” it was defending wasn’t science at all, but obsolete, simplistic pronouncements based on old science that were/are no better than “Creationism”.

        AFAIK that’s what predominates in the textbooks. Real evolutionary science is skeptical and allows for the likelihood of simplistic models (e.g. adaptationism) being wrong, or at least very incomplete.

        Recent work has demonstrated that.

  20. I so loved the BBC post about trees causing global warming. Better sharpen my axe now then and get swinging.

    • John Vonderlin

      Apparently it is a choice between having blood or sawdust on our hands. With “Killer Trees” causing about ten percent of auto deaths in the U.S. every year, I know where my sympathies lie. Timber.

  21. How do these guys get away with these claims of CO2 impacts lasting centuries to millennia?

    From something with a residence time of 6 years?

    But I guess I shouldn’t be surprised when their math tells them 1.2mm per year of slr equals meters by the end of the century.

    With math skills like that, they won’t be able to get a job at the Gap, unless it involves stocking the shelves.

    • They are referring to the AGW forecast of the many centuries duration of the supposedly elevated CO2 levels (above the magical, wonderfully natural 280ppm). Thus the short residence time of individual CO2 molecules is irrelevant. This is a widespread confusion. It is also pure speculation.

      • Residence time is only irrelevant if you assume sinks are at saturation and humans will continue with CO2 emission levels at current levels.

        Besides I believe they use terms referring to today’s emissions having impacts lasting far into the future.

      • David Springer

        Only half of aCO2 emission stays in the atmosphere each year despite emission amount increasing every year.

        This is characteristic of an equilibrium system being driven further and further out of equilibrium. The farther it is driven away from equilibrium the greater the forces that act to drive it back. That’s why despite the amount of aCO2 rising every year the proportion that stays in the atmosphere does not increase; the sinks pull that much harder.

        When such a system relaxes (no more constantly increasing drive away from equilibrium) it returns to equilibrium at the same rate it was driven out.

        The equilibrium point for the current climate appears to be 280ppm judging by past glacial/interglacial cycles. Stop the ever-rising input of aCO2 into the system and most of the excess added in the industrial age will be removed in a century or so. Quickly at first then slowing as it approaches the equilibrium point.

    • SLR is predicted by AGW to accelerate, so your “math skills” insults are unfounded, to say the least, perhaps even foolish. It seems you do not grasp the scientific issues, or do you choose to ignore them?

      • David,

        I grasp the issues just fine. Of course SLR has to accelerate to get to the “projected” levels they warn about. Problem is there is no acceleration.

        That they have to rely on projections 200 to 300 years out and hypothesized tipping points to get scary numbers should tell you all you need to know about the quality of their work. Arithmetic tells us what we need to know. That sea level rise is not an existential threat. It barely rises to the level of a problem.

      • David Wojick | February 13, 2016 at 4:45 pm | Reply
        SLR is predicted by AGW to accelerate, so your “math skills” insults are unfounded, to say the least, perhaps even foolish.

        LOD studies say the sea level rise 1.2 mm/Y.

        The AGW predictions don’t have a good track record. Have you looked at the CO2 level vs the RCPs?

        The sea level rise satellite guesstimates are so far from reality that even with the 0.3 mm/Y computer added SLR removed they will still show rising sea levels long after it has stopped, much like GISS will show it warming long after it stops warming.

        The GISS has added 0.25°C to the 1910 to 2000 warming trend just since 2008. That is more than 50% of the 0.45°C trend that existed in 2008.

        There is still some Arctic sea ice and it is increasing – that was supposed to be long gone. After the El Nino we will probably have southern sea ice records again.

        If AGW predictions were ever right they might get some traction.

  22. Looking at the article, “Cleaner fuels 4 fishing boats could backfire on the climate,” it occurs to me that all of the climate change research aimed at fingering humanity for causing global warming has finally led to one single incontrovertible conclusion: We’re damned if do and damned if we don’t. Whatever we do, the climate is still going to change and we’re the cause of it.

  23. Nearly 3,000 climate scientists condemn Australia’s dramatic research cuts [link]

    They tell us climate science is settled. So, we don’t need them anymore. Then, they say they are needed. Why?

    • This is one case where assuming the science is settled had the correct result.

      I’m glad to see Australia has the wisdom to RIF government jobs that are unnecessary. I wish the US had the wisdom to do the same.

  24. “Yes, a substantial majority of respondents, of diverse political views, know that climate scientists understand fossil-fuel CO2 emissions to be warming the planet, and that climate scientists expect rising temperatures to result in flooding in many regions.”

    Get it? No definition of what or who is a climate scientist. But a substantial majority “know” that these “climate scientists” are “understanding” stuff. (The stuff’s not good, what with “flooding in many regions!”)

    Now that Dan Kahan’s got the sciency bit of the push-polling out of the way, it’s on to some good old assumptive proselytising:

    “Ordinary citizens only need to know the essential gist of what climate scientists are telling them–that global warming poses serious risks that threaten things of value to them, including the health and prosperity of themselves and others; it’s those who ordinary citizens charge with crafting effective solutions (ones consistent with the democratic aggregation of diverse citizens’ values) who have to get all the details straight.” (Kahan in Green Berets mode. No mention of impact on apple pie or baseball, but it can’t be good.)

    And sometimes you have to go for some heavy patronising, to put the sorry hicks in their places – because you really can overdo the lukewarmy glasnost:

    “Ordinary members of the public, regardless of what they “believe” about human-caused climate change, know pitifully little about the basic causes and consequences of global warming.”

    Good try, warmie.

  25. OT: Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia found dead… thought to be natural causes.

    • When they said earlier this week that “El Nino was over” I thought they meant ocean temps.

    • David Springer

      How convenient. The lame duck gets to appoint one more justice before he himself becomes a historical footnote.

      • Well, maybe Republicans should stop hunting in Texas. W shot an endangered species in front of a TV news crew with the camera running. Cheney shot his friend. Now Scalia dies in a hunting lodge. Will check to see if these events all happened during an El Nino.

      • Yeah – the same guy who argued to filibuster the apt of Sam Alito now says don’t play politics with a supreme court nomination.

    • Scalia, we need many more jurists and politicians just like him. From the article:

      Never fazed by criticism, Scalia rarely passed up an opportunity to offend non-U.S. audiences. Speaking to international jurists in Canada in 2007, Scalia took umbrage when a Canadian judge made a slighting reference to “security agencies” that seem to “subscribe to the mantra, ‘What Would Jack Bauer Do?’”

      Viewers may recall that Jack Bauer, hero of the Fox drama 24, tended to resort to torture whenever an interrogation subject declined to open up. Scalia thought this was just fine: “Jack Bauer saved Los Angeles,” he explained to the assembled international judges. “He saved hundreds of thousands of lives!”

      In 2014, Scalia shared his personal “What Would Jack Bauer Do?” philosophy with a Swiss audience. “The [U.S.] Constitution says nothing whatever about torture,” he informed a Swiss radio interviewer. “I don’t know what provision of the Constitution [torture] would contravene…. Listen, I think it is very facile for people to say, ‘Oh, torture is terrible.…’ You think it’s clear that you cannot use extreme measures to get [information about the location of a bomb in Los Angeles]? I don’t think that’s so clear at all. And once again, it’s this sort of self-righteousness of European liberals who answer that question so readily and so easily.”


  26. For the good ole days when La Nina caused global sea level drop …

    Oct 29, 2012:

    “Rising sea level is already affecting populations near coasts, and most climate models predict that sea level will generally continue to rise as Earth’s climate warms.”

    Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2012-10-la-nina-global-sea.html#jCp

  27. Here’s an idea for the Beeb, if they’re so worried about poor carbon storage in modern forests:

    When you chop down a tree in America (“we just use the tops, they’re just very long tops”), don’t chip it, haul it to a ship, flood it with nitrogen, sail it to England…and then incinerate it on the grounds that it’s “renewable”.

    I know that Brussels thinks the Poms need to do that…but Brussels has been Pervert Central since Leopold II.

    Don’t. Just don’t, okay?

    • Roll on the Brexit referendum


      • On a more scientific note, tonyb…Seen the latest evidence for the South Pacific Decadal Oscillation?

        Every thirty years, regular as clockwork, New Zealand cricket goes positive. It’s happened again!

      • Yes, Tonyb …

        Could you add some reality to the inaccurate, vexatious headlines on this, please ?

        Very hard to grasp the actual status quo. My understanding, probably too superficial, is that a goodly percentage (but how big) of the UK population wants Brexit to avoid being swamped like central Europe

      • Have no vote, but if did, it would be for Brexit. UK deserves better than the refugee ‘Jungle’ camp at Calais, and EU mandates handed down by unelected Brussels officials.
        Brexit might also wake the EU up to its slow, agonizing, self suicide re jobs, re economic growth, re western cultural norms on things like women are equal and respected, re work incentives,….

      • Ian

        On the whole people may tend to vote for the status quo especially as the alternative-Brexit- is so ill defined and unknown. Recent events have however pushed people towards greater scepticism, in particular Merkel’s imperious handling of refugees was a perfect metaphor for the high handed and undemocratic way the EU works.

        Camerons’ concessions from the EU are trivial in the extreme and don’t begin to compensate for loss of sovereignty over the past 40 years.

        There’s going to be a lot of dire scare mongering of the consequences if we leave, but as yet the real debate has not taken place. That revolves round Britain joining the EU believing it was primarily a trading bloc when in reality it is a political entity.

        After the travails of the Euro the EU inner core are determined there should be MORE Europe, not less, and the result will be a drive towards political and financial integration which will inevitably drive Europe towards an attempt to become one country. Bearing in mind its recent history-two world wars and numerous changes of territory -this desire is not surprising, but Britain was not affected by events in the same way as Europe was and does not share this concern.

        Currently its a very close thing with perhaps an edge to those wanting to sty in. But as I say, its very early days. Until we know what concessions will be given to us the debate can’t really begin.

        I have more in common with Australia and New Zealand and the US than I do with much of Europe, and see our destiny on the wider world stage not just with the bureaucratic over regulated and undemocratic EU. But of course, we should also have a close relationship with our European friends, its just that it should be trading rather than political union.


      • Tonyb, you gave me a brain cramp. What say we form am EU equivalent of those countries whose democratic heritage and rule of,law stems from yours. i got five nice original members. UK, Canada, US, NZ, Au. Similar values, similar heritage, similar common law.
        Now, there remain a few issues. Au or US dollar? Metric? Whether a bonnet is a car hood? Whether a barbie is a charcoal grill? We can probably sort all that out. After all, Sec Kerry says he can make the Syrian cease fire work despite the Russian support of Aleppo encirclement.

      • “What say we form am EU equivalent of those countries whose democratic heritage and rule of,law stems from yours. i got five nice original members. UK, Canada, US, NZ, Au. “
        We had one. It was the British Empire. But there was an Exit.

      • The British Empire was the second best thing that ever happened to the world. First being U.S. of A.
        The E.U. is like having a continent under the control of a bunch of inebriated International Rotary Club conventioneers.

      • I just don’t see Brexit happening until the City loses its grip on British political leadership.

      • c1ue

        There are undoubtedly some important vested interests. The City however is fearful of the restrictions the EU seek to impose on it as much as they fear no longer being the epicentre of the euro trading. They deal worldwide so overall their markets are likely to bear up. The pound would suffer initially though, substantially boosting our exports but with drawbacks as well.


  28. Nic Lewis schools Gavin on climate sensitivity at Climate Audit [link]

    That was an interesting debate. It illustrated a good response to criticism (by Marvel) and a poor response (by Schmidt). It shows the value of permitting “flawed” papers to be published so that they can be addressed in detail by people who have more time and expertise than reviewers generally have. There is more for discussion at the site, with numerous participants, so I recommend it — fwiw.

  29. Notice how the climate-botherers are now threatening to pollute in order to offset the effects of our naughty emissions? They go into release-the-drones mode, explaining how if we’re not nicer to Bambi they might have to hurt Bambi for his own good.

    Maybe Bomber Barry can add extra chemicals to his Yemen drops and gas two birds with the one stone.

  30. Dan Kahan: They already got the memo” part 2: More data on the *public consensus* on what “climate scientists think” about AGW

    Dan has created some great instruments and collected some valid and very interesting data. But the public consensus emphasized in the title line above is not inherent in his data. This is Dan’s interpretation, based on an assumption that lots of respondents polling the same way are doing so for the same reason. However, a better fit to the data is that at least 2 groups of respondents are polling in the same direction for completely *different* reasons. This means it is not a consensus.

    Nor is an apparent main public belief of his speculative consensus, which is “a universal latent fear that we’re all screwed”, supportable. Pretty much every survey in the US placing CC as a priority for government or the president, score CC dead last or very low. This is consistently the case for years. Where political breakdown is available, even Dem / Libs *only*, score low or very low. Released from identity defense by virtue of the priority list format, they basically drop their concern. None of these folks are expressing fear.

    Dan’s interpretation of the data is selected from a subset of the possible solution space. Which subset turns out to be only those solutions which are consistent with all the bias / identity defense belonging exclusively to Rep / Cons. Which turns out to be because he makes the assumption that the consensus message about global warming is ‘truth’. This invalidates objectivity. The data should *tell us* which side bias is on, it should not be plugged into the analysis as a fixed prior assumption.

    My own interpretation is supportable on the same figures: Group 1 (larger) – a lack of faith in anything climate science says, Group 2 (smaller) – a strong emotive belief in calamitous climate change, irrelevant of detail.

    There are relevant comments at cultural cognition on this post, plus one the day before (8th), and also today’s post (13th).

  31. To suggest that semiconductor manufacturers structure their vastly expensive R&D programs deliberately so as to align with Moore’s Law is nonsense on stilts.

    To suggest that semiconductor manufacturers grab cheap publicity by claiming they do is common sense.

  32. “The Parched earth slows down sea rise levels”

    Science (the method) has left the reservation. One feels like banging one’s head against a wall when reading what poses as science these days, in many fields.

    Enter concept, exit reality

    • What is the name of the scientist who is being quoted, or was that made up by a journalist?

      What the science indicates is the dry areas are, on net, getting drier, and the wet areas, on net are getting slightly more wet than the dry areas are getting drier… over the years covered by the study, which are dominated by La Nina and a negative PDO.

      • What the science indicates is the dry areas are, on net, getting drier, and the wet areas, on net are getting slightly more wet than the dry areas are getting drier…

        Just because it’s lyrical doesn’t make it true.

        As I understand the hand waving, some claim the ‘subsident zones’ of the sub tropics will ‘expand’.


        1. There doesn’t appear to be a physical basis for this occurring as a result of CO2 forcing or warming.

        2. The subsidence appears to be strongest from the winter hemisphere’s circulation.

        3. Precipitation occurs not because of changes to the mean, but from discrete events ( such as cold frontal passages ). The strongest such events of precipitation are often followed by the strongest subsidence behind a cold front. Thus there is a physical basis for increased precipitation in association with increased average subsidence. That’s not a prediction by any means, but an example of the faults in the simplistic claims.

  33. Why can’t Science do history?

    The Science item about a volcanically induced “little ice age” during the 6th and 7th centuries is accompanied by a picture of a painting from 900 years later. This is like illustrating the Roman warm period with a medieval knight. It’s not like there aren’t tens of 6th century artworks available in Google. Just lazy, or does averaging out the 6th century and the 15th century help in getting rid of that pesky medieval warm period?

    I wonder if this is part of a sly attempt to wash out the climate variability surrounding the rise and fall of the Roman Empire? For example, this article does not mention the cold snap that froze the Rhine in 406 allowing the Germania tribes to migrate into Roman territory previously protected by its riverine navy. Sure there were volcanic eruptions in the 6th century but this was layered over an already cool era.

    I wonder if this 5th century cold snap showed up in these newly reported Russian tree ring survey? Alas, the Science article doesn’t say.

    • Climate variability is our friend, not yours.

      • Not a bad attempt at emulating Mosher crypticism.

      • Climate variability is our friend, not yours.

        Is there any basis for claiming variability is larger with increased CO2?

        If humidity increases, there is a good physical basis for claiming decreased temperature variability. That’s because an atmosphere with greater latent heat needs less sensible heat to resolve imbalances.

        That’s certainly true with the examples we have: summer temperatures are less variable than winter temperatures, and the tropics have less temperature variability than the temperate or polar zones.

  34. Interesting. Their Figure 2 suggests the Roman warm period was just as warm as the current warm period though it also looks like they’ve over layered the recent instrument record making it hard to determine if the modern tree rings report as high or decline. It also suggests there were some incredible decadal warming trends that back then that make recent warming trends less unusual.

  35. On a lighter note

    Scientist: climate’s natural variability is driven by a complicated non-linear system of internal stochastic variations.
    Casual observer: you mean you have no idea?

  36. This work was just brought to my attention, but seems to discuss an expectation of higher probability of ‘extreme weather events’ as opposed to an actual attribution: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/wcc.380/abstract

  37. January 2016 hottest month evah! Yada yada yada …

    NASA has released its global temperature data for January 2016, and, once again, the record for the hottest month in recorded history has been shattered.


  38. I think this particular 3% will have a hard time gaining traction because they are only united in one thing, which is their professed cluelessness about the cause of the warming. This is too nebulous and I would suggest they get a testable non-AGW hypothesis that they can agree on, otherwise they will remain at the 3% mark.