Week in review – science edition

by Judith Curry

A few things that caught my eye this past week.

U.S. Defense Department redefines climate change [link]

Iceland’s glaciers go into full tilt retreat [link]

Trees deal with climate change better than expected [link]

A new reconstruction of ice sheet dynamics in Europe & the Barents Sea [link] …

The height of the Antarctic ice sheet is mapped using ESA’s CryoSat data
[link]

Scientists are alarmed: When I look at the Feb 2016 temperatures, I feel like I’m looking at something out of a sci-fi movie [link] …

Arctic research vessel to spend entire year studying sea ice decline [link]

The separation between facts & values is a myth. Science can answer moral questions. [link]

The Mattering Instinct: Interview on is/ought, phil & sci, & much else w Rebecca Goldstein  [link]

Evidence-based medicine has been hijacked [link] …

An Entire American Community Is Being Relocated Because of Sea Level Rise  [link]

There are potent greenhouse gases beyond #CO2: the mystery of the global #methane rise  [link]

Some good things in here- we really need to find new ways to talk about #climatechange and comedy is powerful George Marshall added,

the 2016 Inside the Greenhouse climate & comedy challenge winners [link]

This shaken baby syndrome case is a dark day for science – and for justice | Clive Stafford Smith [link]

How carbon farming could reverse climate change [link] …

National Intelligence Council Seeks Input on Climate Security Scenarios [link]…

Trends in Extreme Weather Events since 1900 – An Enduring Conundrum for Wise Policy Advice [link] …

“We like to talk about ‘engaging the public’, but many scientists really just want to talk at them” [link] …

On the intersection between religion and climate in our past: [link]

Bayesian Reasoning in the Twilight Zone [link] …

New study in @nature attributes almost two-thirds of observed #climatechange impacts temperatures to human activity [link]

Promising new research using fractal analysis on climate variations going back five million years [link]

Is it worth trying to “reframe” climate change? Probably not.  [link]

Excellent new new paper on recent changes in USA landscape. [link] …

Bolivia’s Second-Largest Lake Dries Up: Is Utah’s Great Salt Lake Next? [link]

New paper: “Delaying future sea-level rise by storing water in Antarctica” [link]

New paper: “ocean dominates the planetary heat budget and takes thousands of years to equilibrate”  [link]

Temperate plants love milder temperatures [link]

Warming ocean water undercuts Antarctic ice shelves [link]

New project investigates the global warming hiatus [link]

What drives uncertainties in adaptation to sea level rise? [link]  This post at Real Climate is well worth reading.

 

403 responses to “Week in review – science edition

  1. Interesting discussion about climate change science on Euan Mearns:
    Can Geology Tell Us What is Warming the Climate?.
    http://euanmearns.com/can-geology-tell-us-what-is-warming-the-climate/

    The post is a reply to Professor Lindzen’s essay on a previous thread.

    The comments are interesting.

  2. The entire house of cards will fall or NAS will continue to deceive the public:

    https://stevengoddard.wordpress.com/2016/03/18/the-climate-tipping-point/

    • Even if Nature publishes empirical facts about “Solar energy,”
      https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/10640850/Solar_Energy.pdf
      the President would be wise to adopt recommendations in the conclusion: Forgive those who deceived us for the past sixty-nine years for being human and move as quickly as possible to restore integrity to government science and constitutional limits on governments.”

      Retaliation and anger luxuries that society cannot afford as we recover from seven decades of deception.

    • Omanuel: Why do you believe someone who can’t even be honest about their real name to the conclusions of 200 scientific societies around the world?

  3. “Evidence-based medicine has been hijacked:” A confession from John Ioannidis

    RW: You write that clinical evidence is “becoming an industry advertisement tool” and that “much ‘basic’ science [is] becoming an annex to Las Vegas casinos.” Provocative — what do you mean?

    JI: Since clinical research that can generate useful clinical evidence has fallen off the radar screen of many/most public funders, it is largely left up to the industry to support it. The sales and marketing departments in most companies are more powerful than their R&D departments. Hence, the design, conduct, reporting, and dissemination of this clinical evidence becomes an advertisement tool. As for “basic” research, as I explain in the paper, the current system favors PIs who make a primary focus of their career how to absorb more money. Success in obtaining (more) funding in a fiercely competitive world is what counts the most. Given that much “basic” research is justifiably unpredictable in terms of its yield, we are encouraging aggressive gamblers. Unfortunately, it is not gambling for getting major, high-risk discoveries (which would have been nice), it is gambling for simply getting more money.

  4. An Entire American Community Is Being Relocated Because of Sea Level Rise

    It’s a little more complicated than that …

    The oil and gas industry dredged canals and built pipelines that allowed saltwater to encroach upon and destroy the freshwater wetlands that surrounded Isle de Jean Charles until the 1960s. Besides providing crucial habitat for numerous species and other ecological services, wetlands protect coastal areas from storm surges and prevent erosion. As the island first began to wash away into the sea, levees constructed north of Isle de Jean Charles cut the community off from the Mississippi River and the sediment that replenishes the land.

    http://www7.nau.edu/itep/main/tcc/Tribes/gc_choctaw

  5. Bayesian Reasoning in the Twilight Zone:

    Question: Is it possible to believe in AGW even though proponents of global warming are always wrong?

    Mystic Seer: It is quite possible

  6. The link to “What drives uncertainties in adaptation to sea level rise?” goes to the previous listing.

    When it comes to sea level rise the notion of uncertainty gets quickly translated into regulating for the extremes (eg 1 m in 100 years, above the IPCC CMIP5 unlikely model run from an unlikely (RCP8.5) scenario) rather than using the full PDF and applying that to a cost/benefit analysis of regulating (and the cost of regulating is very large, now and certain, whereas the benefits of sea level rise impacts avoided are uncertain and in the future). There is also a failure to recognise that the property owner carries most of the risk and the externalities are low, the risk is slow and unfolding (unlike siesmic events for example, where the incidence is uncertain), and there are likely to be real options in waiting. For most building purposes 100 years is potentially beyond the life of any investment. Ensuring good local information on the risks and uncertainty is made available is likely to be the most cost effective intervention by public officials given today’s understanding.

    So, back to the RealClimate post, the uncertainty in probabilistic terms is a critical input to risk management, and the regulator needs to include similar considerations in assessing the cost-of-regulation side of the equation. The general failure by regulators to do either caused someone to quip:

    “The greatest risk to coastal communities from sea level rise comes from the regulators”.

  7. RE: “The separation between facts & values is a myth. Science can answer moral questions”

    The notion that science can answer moral questions is a tenet being proselytized by the New Atheists.

    I join in with those like Stephen Jay Gould and David Sloan Wilson who charaterize New Atheism as being a secular stealth religion, and a fundamentlist one at that.

    A couple of excellent rebuttals to the New Atheists:

    Skeptic magazine publisher Michael Shermer has gotten onto the same “science can determine moral values” bandwagon as other scientistically-minded writers such as Sam Harris….

    But no, I don’t think that the scientific worldview has much to do with it….

    As for the Enlightenment, Richard Dawkins once declared himself a son of the movement. So did I, when I was 18. Then I grew up and I started seeing things in a bit more nuanced way. After all, the Enlightenment was followed by the French Revolution, which bred the Reign of Terror, which led to Napoleon. Not exactly a stellar record for the champions of reason.

    https://scientiasalon.wordpress.com/2015/02/23/michael-shermer-and-the-moral-arc-of-libertarianism/

    and

    What Sam Harris wishes to do in his new book, The Moral Landscape: How Science Can Determine Human Values, is to mount a science-based challenge to Hume’s famous separation of facts from values. For Harris, values are facts, and as such they are amenable to scientific inquiry. I think he is spectacularly wrong….

    Moreover, Harris entirely evades philosophical criticism of his positions, on the simple ground that he finds metaethics “boring.”

    But he is a self-professed consequentialist — a philosophical stance close to utilitarianism — who simply ducks any discussion of the implicatons of that a priori choice, which informs his entire view of what counts for morality, happiness, well-being and so forth.

    He seems unaware of (or doesn’t care about) the serious philosophical objections that have been raised against consequentialism, and even less so of the various counter-moves in logical space (some more convincing than others) that consequentialists have made to defend their position.

    This ignorance is not bliss, and it is the high price the reader pays for the crucial evasive maneuvers that Harris sneaks into the footnotes I mentioned at the beginning.

    http://www.skeptic.com/eskeptic/11-02-02/#feature

    And then of course there’s the old stand-by, Albert Einstein, who was not only a scientific giant but a moral giant as well:

    For the scientific method can teach us nothing else beyond how facts are related to, and conditioned by, each other. The aspiration toward such objective knowledge belongs to the highest of which man is capabIe, and you will certainly not suspect me of wishing to belittle the achievements and the heroic efforts of man in this sphere.

    Yet it is equally clear that knowledge of what is does not open the door directly to what should be. One can have the clearest and most complete knowledge of what is, and yet not be able to deduct from that what should be the goal of our human aspirations.

    Objective knowledge provides us with powerful instruments for the achievements of certain ends, but the ultimate goal itself and the longing to reach it must come from another source. And it is hardly necessary to argue for the view that our existence and our activity acquire meaning only by the setting up of such a goal and of corresponding values.

    The knowledge of truth as such is wonderful, but it is so little capable of acting as a guide that it cannot prove even the justification and the value of the aspiration toward that very knowledge of truth. Here we face, therefore, the limits of the purely rational conception of our existence.

    — ALBERT EINSTEIN, address at Princeton Theological Seminary, May 19, 1939
    http://www.sacred-texts.com/aor/einstein/einsci.htm

  8. Aerial view of Isle de Jean Charles, LA
    https://bit.ly/1R9wznh

    Note all the dredging and channels.

  9. Georgia Tech climate scientist Kim Cobb said she normally doesn’t concern herself much with the new high temperature records that are broken regularly.

    “However,” she added in a Thursday email,” when I look at the new February 2016 temperatures, I feel like I’m looking at something out of a sci-fi movie. ..”

    I luv krayons…

    • How many Erg, does it add up too?

      • Well, I haven’t worried very much about this sequestered heat. Without having done the arithmetic, I figured that the actual temperature increase when averaged over the global ocean is probably pretty small. Further, with the 2nd law of thermodynamics, it is not easy to get much of that heat back to surface. – Professor Curry

      • JCH: You need to learn the difference between temperature and heat.

    • The more exceptional the annual variance, the less likely is has anything to do with AGW which is fairly uniform and regular. Temperatures in 2015 were a 2 sigma event. But reversion to the mean, or mean trend, seems to prevail:

    • JCH,

      Averages, and variations therefrom, are generally completely useless for predicting the future, being based on the past.

      A fair coin might average half heads, half tails. A run of two, or three, or more heads would be an anomaly, when compared with the average. However, predicting that the anomaly will grow, the more it diverges from the average, is the thinking of a foolish person. The old adage about a fool and his money might apply in this case.

      Or, you might run the basic differential logistic equation with an initial value known to result in chaotic behaviour. Run it for a while, then use some averaging algorithm on the result. You now have a completely useless predictive tool. The next iterations may be below average, above average, or by some stupendous stroke of luck, exactly average. Completely useless.

      Maybe you could employ your crayons more effectively in an adult colouring-in book. You are likely to be less disappointed with the result.

      Cheers.

      • Mike Flynn | March 18, 2016 at 9:57 pm | Reply
        JCH,

        Averages, and variations therefrom, are generally completely useless for predicting the future, being based on the past.
        _______
        JCH
        Pay no attention to Mike Flynn’s prediction about predictions. I’ll give you an example of why.

        Suppose you ask Lady Ga Ga for a date. She turns you down. You ask again. She says “get lost.” Now, Mike would have you believe the past is no indication of the future, so you should just keep pestering her until she accepts. Of course following Mike’s advice would get you arrested.

      • max10k,

        I see you have been reading the Warmist directions on providing pointless and irrelevant analogies, when unable to back up assertions with relevant facts. I provided an example or two of the worthlessness of averages as predictive tools, in a more or less scientific context.

        You resort to telling JCH that if he asked Lady Gaga for a date, she would turn him down. He should ask again. She would tell him to get lost. He would keep pestering her, and he would finally get arrested. Once again, you make assertive predictions without even the benefit of hindsight. Pure fantasy, no more no less. Who needs courts? You could determine who would do what, and what the outcome would be! Shades of Minority Report!

        JCH has never asked me for advice relating to Lady Gaga. You are obviously deluded. Do you hear voices telling you what other people are likely to do, or do you just make stuff up as you go along?

        It seems that you are taking issue with my statement –

        “Averages, and variations therefrom, are generally completely useless for predicting the future, being based on the past.”

        Maybe you could provide examples of how you can predict the future based on the past, better than a 12 year old child equipped with a pencil, a straight edge, and the assumption that the future will merely be an extension of the past.

        The best and the brightest (and this debars climatologists, of course,) have shown that they are incapable of reliably peering into the future any better than the previously mentioned 12 year old. Financial, policy, military – no area seems immune to disastrous but well meaning experts convinced that they can read the future.

        Have you any reasonable evidence to the contrary, or just more mindless assertions backed with precisely no evidence at all? Trends end. The only certainty is change (so someone said, and I’m inclined to agree).

        Cheers.

      • Mike, the need to predict can’t be avoided. We can’t go though life without making decisions based on what we expect to happen in the future, whether it be choice of career, who to marry, where to live, what investments to make. So it’s not a question of should I forecast or not, its a question of what should my forecast be.

        You say “Averages, and variations therefrom, are generally completely useless for predicting the future, being based on the past.”

        I am surprised you would make such a foolish statement. I base predictions on the past because frequently its the only thing I have to go on. I am not alone. Even our old tom cat does it. When we pull out the pet carrying case, old tom thinks VET, predicts pain, and takes evasive action.

        You may think you are smart using words like anomaly, logistic equation, and algorithm, and some readers may be impressed. But if you want the truth, I think our cat is smarter than you.

      • max10k,

        As I said, averages will help you not at all. Your idea of predictions is the same as used by climatologists and your cat, and about as useful. You assume. A scientist might predict, based on the normal scientific steps involving observation, hypothesis and so on.

        Feynman’s predictions of certain things have been borne out by subsequent ever more accurate measurements. Your assumptions are just that. You no doubt assume that you will be alive tomorrow, in the full knowledge that one day you will be wrong. Assumption, not prediction. No scientific basis, just a guess. And so it is with climatology, astrology and other attempts to divine the future by magical or religious means.

        As an example, I might assume my car brakes will work. They always have in the past, so surely they will in the future, is it not so?

        On the other hand, I might design a braking system, using materials with certain physical characteristics, and calculate frictional forces, heat dissipation, tensile strength at high temperatures, and a host of other things. I might use powerful computers to assist me, and perform FEA analysis and such.

        Upon testing, my predicted system behaviour may not occur. I may have made a mistake, material properties may not have been properly measured in the past and so on. Or I may have inadvertently discovered something new!

        Assumption is for climatologists, rune casters and so on. Prediction and subsequent verification is for scientists. I see you deny there is any essential difference between guessing and science. Good for you, and I wish you well. You may well work for NASA as a rocket scientist, but this does not necessarily mean you know what you are talking about.

        Feynman’s participation in the Challenger disaster enquirer bears out my statement.

        But keep at it. Prayers haven’t been shown to make the GHE real to date, but maybe you can achieve a miracle.

        Cheers.

      • Mike, forecast are sometimes based on assumptions, but the assumptions themselves are forecast. A population projection, for example, may be based in part on an assumption of no change in the fertility rate. The no change assumption is, of course, a forecast of no change in the rate.

        Speaking of forecasts, it looks like Hansen’s global temperature A Scenario is on target now, based on the Feb. GISS anomaly. I forecast his critics will be eating crow.

      • Dr Curry,

        Have you thought about creating a Kiddy Korner so that the juveniles can comment to their heart’s content and not clutter up the main posts with nonsense? Max could be the charter member.

    • Lol.

      Lecture me, a person of average intelligence, some more.

      • JCH,

        Climatologists provide a graphic illustration that intelligence, ability, education, experience and qualifications, provide no protection against gullibility, delusional psychosis, or many other mental deficiencies and perturbations.

        You may well be of average intelligence, as you claim. I have no knowledge of your personal qualities. You may be sane, rational, and logical, as far as I know. Maybe even gullible and delusional, to boot.

        You asked for some lecturing. I’m not sure whether pointing out some basic facts counts as lecturing. Let me know if you need further assistance on the appropriate use of averages, mental instability amongst climatologists, or how to distinguish fact from Warmist fantasy.

        I’m always glad to help out.

        Cheers.

    • It looks to me like the GISS global average temperature anomaly for February 2016 is about the same as Hansen’s A Scenario projection, which is the highest of his three projections. I could be wrong, so I was wondering if anyone else has checked on this. Also, how the components of the projection compare with observations would be interesting.

    • According to your chart the 0-2000 m Global Ocean Heat Content was about zero from 1978 to1992 and negative before that. I have not seen any physical evidence to support that.

      • Perhaps near zero net imbalance 1978 to 1992; small net negative imbalance prior.

      • JCH wrote, “Perhaps near zero net imbalance 1978 to 1992; small net negative imbalance prior.”

        Please read carefully. The chart shows “Global Ocean Heat Content”. A value of zero means that the ocean contains no heat. Its temperature is absolute zero. It is a solid.

        It is good to look closely at units of measure because when they are wrong (as they are here) it is a signal that the underlying data may be wrong as well. In this case, JCH carelessly or perhaps ignorantly repeated the error in his post quoted above making me even more suspicious.

      • rovingbroker wrote:
        “According to your chart the 0-2000 m Global Ocean Heat Content was about zero from 1978 to1992 and negative before that. I have not seen any physical evidence to support that.”

        Oh boy……. Those are just anomalies, relative to some arbitrary baseline.

        Because obviously the heat content of the ocean was never zero or negative.

  10. RE: ““We like to talk about ‘engaging the public’, but many scientists really just want to talk at them”

    If the scientist kings don’t pull their heads out of their posteriors, they may find one of these in their not too distant future.

    Sydney Smith, probably the most influential parliamentarian ever to advocate for the interests of the disenfranchised, summed it up this way in arguing for the Reform Act in 1832:

    The talk of not acting from fear is mere parliamentary cant.

    From what motive but fear, I should like to know, have all the improvements in our constitution proceeded?

    If I say, Give this people what they ask because it is just, do you think I should get ten people to listen to me?

    The only way to make the mass of mankind see the beauty of justice is by showing them in pretty plain terms the consequences of injustice.

    • I know a couple of scientists (microbiology and physics). I wouldn’t make a fool of myself attempting to talk to them about their work.

      • “I wouldn’t make a fool of myself attempting to talk to them about their work.”

        Ah, but max, the trick is with that that you have to be of a nature that you have no inkling that you are indeed “making a fool of yourself”.

        I come here and elsewhere regularly to see it in action.

      • max10k,

        I’ve talked to quite few a scientists about their work. Climatologists are not scientists, in my view.

        No real scientist has ever made me feel foolish. We may disagree, but they believe they have facts to support their view. Isaac Newton believed in alchemy, John Tyndall believed in the luminiferous ether. Neither were fools. I disagree with both. I respect both.

        They were still wrong, in my view.

        Who do you think is right? Me or Sir Isaac Newton? Me or John Tyndall? Can you see the difference between disagreement and stupidity? Does it change a single fact?

        Cheers.

      • Mike Flynn | March 19, 2016 at 7:30 am |

        “I’ve talked to quite few a scientists about their work.”

        “No real scientist has ever made me feel foolish.”
        _____

        Just because you didn’t feel foolish doesn’t
        necessarily mean you weren’t making a fool of yourself.

        What Tony said may apply to you.

      • max10k,

        You wrote –

        “Just because you didn’t feel foolish doesn’t
        necessarily mean you weren’t making a fool of yourself.”

        Just why should I care about what you think? Or what anyone else thinks, for that matter? Facts are facts. Fantasy is fantasy. You may conduct your life attempting to avoid looking foolish (whatever that means). If it makes you happy, why not?

        I never feel foolish, as far as I know. Sometimes I’m wrong. Sometimes new facts appear, and I then change my mind.

        Michael Mann may have claimed to be a Nobel Laureate. Was he foolish, misguided, or merely delusional? Does it matter? He was either awarded a Nobel Prize or not. I believe the Nobel Committee stated he wasn’t. Michael Mann’s personal feelings of foolishness or otherwise don’t change the facts.

        So if you are trying to impose an emotion on me for some bizarre reason of your own, it isn’t working. If, on the other hand, you don’t care whether I feel foolish or not, we are in agreement. I don’t care what you think, any more than you might care what I think.

        In the meantime, until someone can demonstrate the existence of the magical greenhouse effect under controlled conditions, it remains as real as the luminiferous ether. A seductive hypothesis, not supported by facts.

        Cheers.

      • “Isaac Newton believed in alchemy, John Tyndall believed in the luminiferous ether.”

        There was no experimental or observational evidence for either. (Though for the latter, proof didn’t come for some decades.)

        There is for AGW…..

      • Max,

        Then why do you insist on doing it here?

      • David,

        Perhaps, but when you then go on to claim all sorts of dire calamities from AGW, you’ve just exited the realm of proven and crossed over into the twilight zone of speculation.

  11. “How carbon farming could reverse climate change . . . ”

    More Warmist nonsense, and using Warmese instead of English. How would anyone know when climate change reversed? Consult a climate reversal scientist? Is this the same as saying that growing trees will stop the climate from changing?

    What stops Warmists form saying what they actually mean, using words that have accepted meanings?

    Perusing the link indicates that the author thinks that 350 is a “magic number” for unstated reasons, and seems to confuse carbon with carbon dioxide, water vapour, methane, and a with a wide range of combustion products which are supposedly injurious to health.

    Are these people merely semi literate or mildly retarded, or completely delusional? I can only guess that the article is suggesting that growing lots of trees and reverting to a low technology village society will somehow lower temperatures somewhere where the author isn’t, at some indefinable time in the future.

    This will be achieved at vast expenditure of someone else’s money, of course!

    Pretty much standard Wamist fare – emotive nonsense, vague Utopian promises. all paid for by someone else.

    Cheers.

    • “More Warmist nonsense, and using Warmese instead of English. How would anyone know when climate change reversed?

      Simple: just look at the data

      Consult a climate reversal scientist?

      That’s one approach. But all that’s needed is math skills

      Is this the same as saying that growing trees will stop the climate from changing?

      No,. It;s different.

      Suppose you are eating donuts and suffering from weight gain.
      when you stop eating donuts and start exercising you can reverse
      weight gain.

      Its not that same as saying you will stop your weight from changing.
      you weight will still change, go up and down a little bit, but you will reverse the change DUE TO DONUT consumption.

      Climate change was defined ( by construction ) as the change in climate DUE TO HUMANS.. the climate still changes for other reasons, but you can stop and maybe reverse the change due to humans.

      Its all English. Pretty standard.

      • Steven Mosher,

        Suppose you abandon pointless and irrelevant analogies about donuts, omelettes or elephants. You’ll have nowhere to go, will you? Some self proclaimed scientist!

        The climate is defined as the average of past weather. The weather changes, therefore weather does also.

        You haven’t the faintest idea why the atmosphere, the aquasphere and all the rest act the way they do. Nobody does, least of all self styled climatologists! Keep up the averaging, adjusting, and creating. If you ever come up with something useful, I’ll be the first to salute!

        Cheers.

    • “How would anyone know when climate change reversed?”

      When temperatures started to decline, and when intense precipitation started to reverse. (Sea level and Arctic/Antartic melting would continue long after this, and may not be reversale.)

      Primarily, when observations show a net zero energy imbalance into the system. (See the work of G. Meehl.)

      • The temperatures have declined over the past four and a half billion years. No reversal there.

        When our Wet season moves to the Dry season, intense precipitation ceases. That’s why we call it the Dry. No reversal there.

        Your comment about net zeroenergy imbalance is just flying in the face of observed fact. The Earth has cooled, and continues to do so. Fact. It loses energy in the process. You haven’t found Steven Mosher’s lost clue either, by the look of it.

        Keep looking – maybe it’s with the missing heat. Let me know if you find it.

        Cheers.

      • You don’t get out much, do you David. Intense precipitation has always occurred. No evidence that the planet is seeing any increase in intensity and frequency.

  12. ‘The separation between facts & values is a myth. Science can answer moral questions. [link]”

    here is the “argument”

    “I would argue, however, that this separation between facts and values is a myth. Values are reducible to specific kinds of facts: facts related to the experience and well-being of conscious creatures.”

    And his argument is

    “Go watch youtube yeah Tom harris”

    my argument is way better

    ‘”I would argue, however, that this separation between facts and values is not a myth. Values are not reducible to specific kinds of facts:”

    and dont watch Tom harris.

    Jeez, who knew Philosophy was this easy!!!

    In the first place he gets Hume’s argument wrong.
    In the second place, Harris doesn’t help him.

    But yes, values are a certain kind of fact. We might want to call them moral intuitions. Next, we can see that climate change may bring great pain to future generations. Folks who have not been born yet.
    We can also see that taxing people living today will bring them pain
    and discomfort. Question: Which life do you value more? The folks alive today? or those yet to be born? Do the unborn have any rights or say in this matter.? Values are special kinds of facts. Weird facts. I can look at the value and say… of course we should care for the future.. and you can look at the value and say… of course we should care for today. Carpe Diem. Now, in science, we have a way of deciding which fact is in fact.a fact.

    In ethics or values? well we dont have such clear ways of handling disagreement. ISIS anyone?

    Hume’s argument was we have no way of DEDUCING ought from IS.
    The poster hasnt touched hume’s argument even though he cited it.

    • Curious George

      We don’t want to see unemployed philosophers, or, God forbid, historians of science.

  13. From the RealClimate posting’s author –

    “So, to answer my question ‘what uncertainties are there in the drivers of change, and can understanding these uncertainties enable better decisions for adaptation?’, perhaps it as apt to quote Albert Einstein: ‘The more I learn, the more I realise how much I don’t know’. The quest to reduce uncertainty (and my frustration!) continues.”

    I am slightly surprised that the Team posted this. It actually includes a bit of real science. Is this a sign that the Church of Climatology is rethinking its dogma?

    Maybe.

    Cheers.

  14. “This shaken baby syndrome case is a dark day for science – and for justice | Clive Stafford Smith [link]”

    This story reminds me of the bad behavior of lawyers who say in court: “you knew or should have known.”

    The first portion of any clinical problem or law enforcement investigation is the history: the baby was on the couch and rolled off; or, the baby was on the changing table and rolled off; or, the baby was in my arms and slipped out.” Now, unless the person speaking is 6′ 10″, the height of the baby before having a free fall means that more likely than not, the baby fell < 5 feet, usually < 3 feet. And,<3 feet fall on the head for an infant rarely induces such trauma and usually is associated with exterior evidence of trauma.

    Next, the triad for shaken baby syndrome: subdural hematoma, retinal hemorrhage, and cerebral edema are observed as a result of the perpetrator having immature behavior, magical thinking and been violent in other areas of their life. Any one of these characteristics is not sufficient to make a diagnosis, only establish a likelihood of such violent behavior. When the story does not match the evidence (unlike climate change), the forensic evidence becomes important and what is likely is relevant.

    A previously healthy baby in a home with a violent individual or impaired individual whose explanation of the harm observe is inconsistent with the forensic evidence suggests a crime has been committed. This is the start of an investigation, not the end.

    Of course the lawyer knew or should have known this already.

  15. “Evidence-based medicine has been hijacked [link] …”

    Let me say straight up, there is very very little evidence based medicine. Most of what one hears is: expert opinion, and, such opinion depends upon who selects the experts. You get what you pay for. Sound familiar?

    When assessing for evidence based medicine, one is confronted with two problems: the first, this is a moving target which means that what was tried and true but yesterday is no long solid as science and medicine, at least the science that goes along with medicine, keeps changing. The second, evidence usually relied upon outcomes which, in this day and age, requires longitudinal experience and data. When administrators are chomping at the bit for an opinion, like it or not, someone will give a guess as if it were a fact.

    When believing one needs to make a decision in the here-and-now with little or no evidence except computer models, then one is relegated to guessing, which it seems to be what a lot of rules, guidances, and perceived “evidence” is based upon. Does this sound familiar as well?

    It may be OK to go along with expert opinion just as long one knows that this opinion is fragile and may not reflect the real world.

    • RiHo08,

      At one time tricyclic antidepressants had some sort of beneficial effect for up to 70% of patients.

      Unfortunately, placebos were effective some 30% of the time. Complicating the issue, both tricyclics, and somewhat surprisingly, placebos, have demonstrated some fairly severe side effects. I can’t remember the percentages.

      Which should be prescribed initially, based on the evidence? Should cost be considered, considering placebos cost very little?

      Guesswork and hope seem to be employed more often than one may think. At least in medicine, the Hippocratic Oath requires that the practitioner first do no harm.

      Climatologists feel no such constraint, and invent evidence as they go along, ignoring physics and observations where contrary to their religion. Oh what fun!

      Cheers.

  16. New paper: “ocean dominates the planetary heat budget and takes thousands of years to equilibrate” [link]

    Sounds like an improvement, but I can only access the supporting online material, not the main article.

  17. The separation between facts & values is a myth. Science can answer moral questions. [link]

    ” …the reason why climate change is so worrying to us is because of the consequences it will ultimately have on our well-being.”

    Consequences. Hmm, let me see. What are the consequences of climate change here-and-now. Give me the good, the bad, and the “there is no evidence so far.” Don’t tell me about tomorrow or yesterday, tell me what you see right now: there is more extreme weather with which people must deal? the sea level rise inundates and surprises communities? there are more deaths now from heat? drought? flood? insects? Exactly what are the problems and benefits of today’s climate/weather? Do they balance out? No? Yes? how are things now that make life more difficult for the great majority of people? living longer? food insecurity? energy uncertainty?

    Please tell me what science is telling us about the great moral questions of the day. Frankly, I don’t see any consequences that don’t balance out. Am I wrong? Tell me; show me; educate me.

    • This is a typical short-sighted view. You have to think of the trajectory. Would you prefer 700 ppm in 2100 or nearer the current-day value? This is the question. People who prefer not to be near 700 ppm are the ones trying to get international agreements because they realize where BAU takes us. Short-sighted people are the ones opposed, because they only see as far as their backyard and maybe out as far as next week.

      • Jim D: You have to think of the trajectory.

        The trajectory to date, from 280 to 400 ppm, has been beneficial. Right? What evidence is there that the trajectory from 400 to 700 will be less beneficial, or even detrimental? On the trajectory from 400 to 700, when do the changes stop being beneficial, and what is the evidence for that?

        Think of the whole trajectory.

      • I think the changes are already on the wrong side of beneficial. If you want to make a case for 700 ppm being better, go ahead. I haven’t seen that case made yet. I could point you to some reports on 4 C not being so good. What rate of sea-level rise would you consider beneficial?

      • Jim D,

        You wrote –

        “I think the changes are already on the wrong side of beneficial.” I’m guessing neither Nature nor most of the world’s population care what you think, and vice versa. However, if one goes with the majority . . .

        You haven’t got a single fact to back up your mindless opinion, have you? The Warmist ploy of asking stupid loaded questions is becoming stale. It’s nearly as pointless as me asking you what the optimal level of CO2 in the atmosphere should be.

        You mention reports saying 4 C not being so good. More pointless and unverifiable speculation. In my location, the temperature varies by more than 4 C every day. People seem to cope regardless. The fact is that nobody has ever demonstrated the ability of CO2 to raise the temperature of anything at all. Maybe you can figure out how to perform this miracle, and make a fortune. Even Ray Pierrehumbert wrote in a textbook that the atmosphere acted like an insulating layer of polystyrene one seventh of an inch thick, from memory. Wrap a corpse in an insulator. Put it in a refrigerator. Watch it continue to cool.

        Go and sleep in an arid tropical desert sometime. Tell me how much one seventh of an inch of polystyrene warms you up. You might die of hypothermia before you get to tell me, of course!

        GHE – nonsense! The Earth warming up due to the GHE – more nonsense! But that’s fine – climatology is non-science, after all, isn’t it?

        Cheers.

      • Jim D: I think the changes are already on the wrong side of beneficial.

        We review evidence here from time to time. They are little things, but the coccolithophores are thriving. As are the boreal forests. The climate changes, but not logging, have been good for the tropical forests. When did the benefits peak — 1950? (one of your favorite starting points.) 1975?

        Let’s start with plant life, say in the Sahel. An increase to 700 ppm will boost plant growth slightly, increase rainfall slightly, and increase temperature slightly, as they have increased over the past few decades; the change will take about 100+ years on recent projections, unless the upper limit on the size of the fossil fuel resource has been correctly estimated. Kelp, blue-green algae, maize — you think they’ll be hurt by a little more rainfall, a little warmer weather, and more CO2? (reportedly, maize uses up available CO2 so rapidly that in the peak growing season growth is limited by local CO2 depletion in the afternoon due to restrictions on ventilating the fields.)

        It is good that your forecasts are unambiguous. If you are right you can take credit around 2050 when the evidence is more plentiful; and if you are wrong, not so much.

      • Want to also mention spreading disease, floods, coastal issues, acidification, droughts and forest fires? It’s not all roses. National wealth and health are negatively correlated with mean temperatures. 700 ppm does not support even polar glaciers based on past evidence, and that condemns large populated areas to future worthlessness. It’s a tough case to make that 700 ppm is better than 400 ppm, which I think is why no one has made it, and most would say it is best to avoid it by reducing emissions.

      • Jim D: It’s a tough case to make that 700 ppm is better than 400 ppm, which I think is why no one has made it, and most would say it is best to avoid it by reducing emissions.

        People who have not absorbed the evidence that 400 ppm is actually an improvement over 280 ppm, and that 2016 is actually better than 1886 are obviously not looking forward to any increase. But the increased CO2 levels will produce greater drought tolerance, and the increased temperature will produce increased rainfall.

        About when do you think the beneficial effects of CO2 reached their peak?

      • There is a group of the opinion that 350 ppm is optimal, because there you don’t get the LIA type conditions, but sea-level rise is also not such an issue. Whether it is 350 or 400, we can debate, but 700 is Eocene.

      • I believe the next climate epoch after the Miocene, Pliocene, Pleistocene and Holocene should be called the Obscene.

      • Jim D

        You thinking something does not make it so. In fact, when one considers your track record, the odds are something being the opposite of what you believe it to be.

        I’d ask if you can list any of the non-beneficial impacts you “think” have or are occurring, but you will likely change the subject.

      • From Jim – “Want to also mention spreading disease, floods, coastal issues, acidification, droughts and forest fires?”

        Nice examples. Too bad none of them are happening or if they are, can be linked to climate change. Unless you are the sort who believes that saying something is so equates to proving it.

      • Give a sense of what would make you pay attention to climate change.

    • Jim D,

      Give a sense of what would make me pay attention.

      Well I am paying attention. But I’ll take your question to mean “what would make me concerned that climate change presented sufficient negative impact that I supported immediate actions be taken to reduce or eliminate CO2 emissions.” Does that capture your question?

      The short answer is quantifiable evidence. Not something which is primarily based on model output.

      One example: The latest GISS temp anomaly data for February. If that big jump continued through the year at a similar rate of increase.

      Another: Sea level rise – if the data showed a significant increase in rate so as to more than double the expected amount of rise by the end of the century (from 8 inches to say a foot & a half).

      I don’t argue that it isn’t warming, nor that there is a human component. In other words I’ve already accepted what should be the two key points. Where your crowd loses me is in the methods used to justify policy and action which I’m told is essential to saving the planet. I’m willing to listen, but you have to make your case. And you can’t assume I’m ignorant or easily frightened. Yet the bulk of the arguments put forth by the people who believe we are faced with an existential threat are heavily anchored in those two assumptions.

      Why don’t you ask yourself why so much of the “science” we see published is in the form of press release? When did public relations become an essential part of science? With a graduate degree in science and both coursework and some job experience in public relations, I recognize the difference.

  18. The following from today’s news may be of interest:

    SOLAR POWER: PUC gives Ivanpah plant operators more time to increase output
    The Ivanpah plant near the California-

    Nevada border is producing about two-thirds of its annual production goal

    http://www.pe.com/articles/plant-797333-ivanpah-solar.html

    • max10k,

      “The plant’s owners have agreed to pay PG&E an undisclosed sum in exchange for getting time to improve the plant’s electricity output.”

      I wonder how much of the taxpayers’ $1.6 billion loan guarantees will be involved to cover payments to PG&E? Fantastic method of milking the taxpayers, and transferring funds to third party, without anybody being the wiser.

      I suppose that if the Sun decides to shine more brightly, Ivanpah might produce the additional power needed. Maybe the designers weren’t as good as they thought they were. Something definitely didn’t go according to plan, did it?

      Maybe the US Govt should get behind a solar panel manufacturer instead – what could possibly go wrong? Sorry about that, but some people think that Governments are reliably successful in picking commercial winners. I don’t.

      Cheers.

      • I love a government that picks winners. I can’t understand why anyone wouldn’t, unless it’s against the rules of their ideology.

      • max10k,

        You might like to point out the Governments that reliably pick winners, although you might have to define what a winner is. Based on results, the US doesn’t have an awesome record of success over the last 50 years or so.

        NASA buys tickets from Russia to put astronauts into space. Iraq, Afghanistan, Vietnam and Korea don’t sound like winning moves to me. The US economy is not going too great, and the country owes over $18 trillion or so, which it figures it can wipe out by printing 18 trillion dollar bills.

        Sanctions imposed by the US eventually force countries to be more self sufficient. Now that the US is running out of easily fleeced patsies, it is turning to countries like Cuba and Iran, and expressing amazement that those countries are not falling over themselves to be fleeced by US companies.

        The US possesses about 5% of the world’s population, and about 95% of the arrogance, according to some. Whe asked what he thought of American culture, Mahatma Ghandi was reputed to have replied that he thought it would be a good idea.

        So yes, when it comes to picking winners, I don’t think the US Government has done all that well. NASA, the F35 program, Solyndra – you can add more, I’m sure. Other governments don’t seem to do much better, do they?

        Cheers.

      • Guvuh-mint picking winners? O ye cronyism …

        The more taxes extracted and distributed by guvuh-mint
        and its bureaucracy, the more our lives are changed by
        people we don’t even know exist …

        The more taxes extracted and distributed by guvuh-mint
        and its bureaucracy, the more ‘winners’ selected from
        among competing industries O so lucky selectorate
        that gits the jackpot …

      • Best military technology in the world, as picked by the good old U.S. Government.

      • Defence of the realm? Most cits would likely see this as
        a legit role fer guvuh-mint, protecting the cits, securing
        the realm. Oz of the long coastline currently tendering
        for submarines as crucial to our defence. Tenders much
        scrutinized and discussed… Bit different to some of them
        subsidy circuses.

      • max10k,

        You wrote –

        “Best military technology in the world, as picked by the good old U.S. Government.”

        And it couldn’t defeat the VC in Vietnam, the few dead-enders in Iraq, or the AK47 wielding ISIL fighters.

        Not to mention the Chinese, the Russians, or even the New Zealanders who refuse visits by any US nuclear capable or powered vessels. That mighty military power, New Zealand!

        You might wonder wonder why the rest of the world laughs up its sleeve at the US – not openly of course, the US still possesses awesome destructive power, and will lash out like your average schoolyard bully – or even wonder why US presidential candidates promise to make America great again. Again. Not like it is, but like it was – or as it imagines it was?

        Believe as you will. Many don’t

        Cheers.

      • max10k wrote, “I love a government that picks winners. I can’t understand why anyone wouldn’t, unless it’s against the rules of their ideology.”

        1. It’s not the government’s job to pick winners. Government’s jobs are national security, public safety and enforce contracts.
        2. Government is not good at picking winners.

      • “Sorry about that, but some people think that Governments are reliably successful in picking commercial winners. I don’t.”

        So let’s see. In the past you think governments are unsuccessful in picking winners.

        What’s your prediction for the future?

        why?

      • Still, it’s the best military technology in the world. Would you want our troops to be equipped with less?

      • max10k wrote, “Still, it’s the best military technology in the world.”

        I don’t concede that it is the best but it is certainly the most expensive. Successful enterprises provide the best product at the best price not the best product at the highest price.

        The U.S. Department of Defense budget accounted in fiscal year 2010 for about 19% of the United States federal budgeted expenditures and 28% of estimated tax revenues. Including non-DOD expenditures, military spending was approximately 28–38% of budgeted expenditures and 42–57% of estimated tax revenues.
        [ … ]
        The 2009 U.S. military budget accounts for approximately 40% of global arms spending. The 2012 budget is 6–7 times larger than the $106 billion military budget of China The United States and its close allies are responsible for two-thirds to three-quarters of the world’s military spending (of which, in turn, the U.S. is responsible for the majority).
        [ … ]
        In a statement of 6 January 2011 Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates stated: “This department simply cannot risk continuing down the same path – where our investment priorities, bureaucratic habits and lax attitude towards costs are increasingly divorced from the real threats of today, the growing perils of tomorrow and the nation’s grim financial outlook.”

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military_budget_of_the_United_States#Comparison_with_other_countries

      • Steven Mosher,

        You wrote –

        “So let’s see. In the past you think governments are unsuccessful in picking winners.

        What’s your prediction for the future?”

        Maybe you are trying to put words in my mouth. Typical Warmist bully tactics. Please quote what I said, and I might be able to respond appropriately.

        However, history shows that the US Government has been spectacularly unsuccessful in some of its endeavours. Assuming, of course, that the Government’s intention was to win, rather than lose. Maybe you are right, and the US set out to race to the bottom faster than anybody else.

        I will defer to your expertise, if you can provide facts to substantiate an assertion to the contrary. I assumed that the US government would rather succeed than fail, in the usual meanings of the word.

        My prediction for the future is that the rich tapestry of life will continue to reveal itself, in all its wonderful complexity. To steal another author’s words, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

        The molten blob of rock that is the Earth will continue to cool, as it has for four and a half billion years. People will continue to whinge, fight, complain, steal, pray, exhibit charity, kindness, jealousy, love, compassion and vindictiveness. You could no doubt continue the list.

        Mankind will continue to exist, until it joins the 99.99 % plus of species who have become extinct so far. Maybe I’m wrong – predictions are difficult, particularly where they involve the future.

        If you require assistance with anything serious, please feel free to ask. I am always willing to help those less intellectually gifted than myself.

        Cheers.

  19. Ivanpah, will cost about $19/W of average power delivered http://www.ecc-conference.org/past-conferences/2012/BrightSource_ECC_Presentation_combined.pdf.

    Nameplate capacity = 370 MW.
    Expected average energy generation per year = 1,000,000 MWh.
    This means average power output is 114 MW (about 1/10th of a new nuclear plant).
    Capacity factor is 31%.
    Cost = US $2.2 billion = $19/Watt average power delivered.

    This is around 3x the cost of some recent nuclear power plant builds that most environmentalists have accused of being prohibitively expensive.

    The heliostats used in the project weigh in at 30,000 tonnes. That’s 262 tons of heliostats per MW electric average. That’s just for the heliostats, not even the foundations, not to mention the tower and power block.

    The power plant area that had to be bulldozed over is 20x larger than a nuclear reactor of equivalent average (real) capacity.

    Lastly, nuclear is safer than any other electricity generation technology, including wind and solar:
    http://nextbigfuture.com/2012/06/deaths-by-energy-source-in-forbes.html

    That’s a huge waste of money. All that money we are wasting damages our economy, people’s standard of living and people’s wellbeing.

  20. It’s infant technology. Luddites fear infant technology that could eventually replace their old fashioned technology. It’s a baby now, but why take a chance they think. I understand their fear.

    • max10k: Luddites fear infant technology that could eventually replace their old fashioned technology.

      When have Luddites feared infant technology? Luddites fear new technology when it begins to drive them out of business. If Ivanpah could do that, it wouldn’t need its subsidies.

      You make up a lot of stuff.

      • matthew, new and experimental technologies that hold promise frequently are subsidized. Nuclear power is an example.

      • max10k: matthew, new and experimental technologies that hold promise frequently are subsidized. Nuclear power is an example.

        You are shifting your ground: you wrote that Luddites fear infant technology. You have backed off from that, have you not?

        As to Ivanpah, for the cost of Ivanpah, CA could have refurbished the two power plants at San Onofre, and gotten lots more electrical energy as the product.

      • Curious George

        Interestingly enough, the San Onofre plant closed down because of corrosion in steam generators. State-of-the-art fluid dynamics packages did not discover it. I wonder if climate models use better fluid dynamics modeling.

      • matthewrmarler | March 19, 2016 at 12:28 pm

        You are shifting your ground: you wrote that Luddites fear infant technology. You have backed off from that, have you not?
        ___

        Nope, and I don’t know why you think I have.

      • max10k: Nope, and I don’t know why you think I have.

        Because you did not answer my question: When have Luddites feared “infant” technology.

        And for people advocating the newest nuclear power technology, is “Luddite” an appropriate appellation? No.

      • No, Matthew, the first nuclear power plants were a technology in its infancy, and the Luddites in this case were coal interests.

      • max10k: No, Matthew, the first nuclear power plants were a technology in its infancy, and the Luddites in this case were coal interests.

        You made that up. Even if true, it would hardly be relevant to the case of people who prefer new nuclear power (or refurbished San Onofre) to Ivanpah.

      • George,

        San Onofre originally shut down to replace its SG’s. This was due to a now well known problem with water chemistry and embrittlement. The problem that closed the plant permanently was a different one, involving the new replacement SG’s. Toshiba’s fluid flow models failed to accurately model actual flow dynamics and the SG’s were experiencing severe vibration issues. Bad design based on bad modeling.

        Gee, where have we seen something similar?

  21. How cleaner air could actually make global warming worse

    Previous estimates of the transient climate sensitivity have produced a wide range of results, anywhere from below 1 degree to above 3 degrees Celsius, the authors point out, although they note that most other observational studies have produced central estimates below 2 degrees. Storelvmo suggests that some of these studies may have underestimated the influence of aerosols, or that their methods were too sensitive to short-term fluctuations in the climate, such as the so-called warming hiatus over the past decade. …

  22. A terrific list of articles. At times the comments following the articles are just as enlightening and enjoyable.

    The link to “we like to talk about engaging the public..” from Nature is a good example. The author seems to believe a Trump presidency would signal the end of democracy as well as a host of other apocalyptic outcomes. Being neutral on Trump per se, I can’t imagine the gentleman has any sense of history , politics or the American experience. The country has gone through many challenges to its founding principles and has sailed on, thank you. That is the beauty of the checks and balances. Those who believe one new President can, with a wave of the wand, make good on all the promises has not observed the American political process for very long.

    But I thought one of the commenters provided the best quote. And it is from a Russell Seitz (the same?)
    “What a paragon of bipartisanship Macilwain (author) has become ! He can’t possibly be part of the problem Nassim Taleb last week diagnosed thus: “What we are seeing worldwide,… is the rebellion against… that class of paternalistic semi-intellectual experts with some Ivy league, Oxford-Cambridge, or similar label-driven education who are telling the rest of us 1) what to do, 2) what to eat, 3) how to speak, 4) how to think… and 5) who to vote for.”

    I think Taleb, once again, is on to something.

  23. Watts, who devotes his time to a website on climate change says climate change is the least of our worries in response to Pierrehumbert who compares our answer to it as humanity’s final exam. Why does Watts even bother if his life’s work is about a subject so trivial to him? Only he knows the answer to that one. Pierrehumbert is more on the mark. It is a serious choice.
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2016/03/18/climate-craziness-of-the-week-climate-challenge-is-humanitys-final-exam/

    • Good question, Jim D. If Watts and his followers believe climate change doesn’t matter, why waste time and effort going on about it? My guess is they want to influence the public and gain support for a cause, the cause being do nothing about climate change. Because the demographic sympathetic to the do nothing cause, mostly older white males, is shrinking relative to the nation’s total population, WUWT may turn out to be the Oldsmobile of blogs.

      • Climate change is not going to cause us any problems outside of the bounds of the past ten thousand years.

        alarmist response to climate change is trying to cause problems outside the bounds of all human causes of problems in history, including the world wars. They want humanity to give up low cost abundant energy. That is way beyond stupid.

      • Because the demographic sympathetic to the do nothing cause, mostly older white males, is shrinking relative to the nation’s total population,

        Many of us are baby boomers and more of us are retiring every year, and we no longer will lose our job if we disagree and we have time and money and inclination to fight this fight.

        The alarmist climate junk science is wrong and Mother Nature is helping our side. Temperature is well inside the bounds of the past ten thousand years and it is not close to going out. Models are all you have and the models have always been wrong.

      • “why waste time and effort going on about it?”

        Gee, max, if it is so obvious that climate change is bad, why spend so much time trying to counter the arguments of those who don’t believe it is? Afterall, you have 97% of the facts on your side (or some such nonsense).

        The made a movie about you max. Only they needed two actors to actually portray the amount of dumbness that flows from you.

    • Jim D – “Why does Watts even bother if his life’s work is about a subject so trivial to him?”

      I try to take you (and everyone) as seriously as I can, but I suspect you already know this; Accepting or not accepting climate risk, who can deny that actions around assessments of climate risk impacts matters of huge consequences.

      • There does seem to be an all-too-common assumption in this debate that people who disagree with “my” position are evil or stupid or paid to disagree.

      • Curious George

        I, too, would welcome Professor Pierrehumbert using his own money, not my money, to support his hobby.

    • Danny Thomas

      JimD, Max, and those more climate concerned,

      As a result of Joseph’s question to TE w/r/t GW ‘exacerbating’ drought on the Attribution post, I went fishing for clues. In my quest, and based on the evidence that warming has been occurring since at least 1950 (one of Jim’s favorites) what has this warming ‘exacerbated’?
      The answer found: ice melt (excluding Antarctica)/slr, and surprisingly snow fall.
      What has it not?:
      Precipitation (excluding snowfall)
      Tornados
      ACE
      Droughts
      (all on ‘climate’ time scales of over 30 years as could not find all to 1950)
      TBD: Wind energy as could not find this.

      Why, with warming considered a given, looking backward and finding this would I expect this to change with warming going forward?

      • Let’s add to that that we have had only about a quarter of the warming expected by the next century, so the question is whether to proceed with BAU for the other three quarters or at least slow down some.

      • Danny Thomas

        Jim D,
        I don’t think that answered my question.

        The theory is that GW will lead to…….evidence indicates it has not. Again, restating the same question: “Why, with warming considered a given, looking backward and finding this would I expect this to change with warming going forward?”

      • I think I answered it. You have had one quarter, and do you want the other three quarters or not? You may be saying yes full-steam ahead, throw caution to the winds, etc.

      • Danny Thomas

        Jim D,
        “You may be saying yes full-steam ahead, throw caution to the winds, etc.”, or I may not be saying that.

        What I AM saying is we KNOW warming has occurred since 1950. We also KNOW that this has not lead to extreme weather and just as correlatively in fact some extreme weather has lessened (ACE is representative). So what should make me think this will change?

        So what you ‘may be saying’ is ya know Danny, you’re right about the actual observable evidence. And that it’s just a guess that more warming will lead to those impacts even though it has not so far.

      • Sure, you are saying don’t even think about slowing emissions and using alternatives until the damage is even more noticeable to you personally, and maybe wait till the the water is lapping on New York and Miami a bit more. Thankfully you are not in charge of planning, or people could be suing you for negligence.

      • Danny Thomas

        Jim D,
        Phew. That deflection whizzed right by my ear and almost smacked me in the head.

        Did I not say increased warming/melting ice/SLR? Did I say anything about emissions whatsoever, or did you hear something in your brain?

        Unless you’re having a hard time with your readings, and please let me know, I think you could re-read and find I was talking about warming’s impact on weather past vs. weather future. Very narrow, not relating to policy only impacts.

        So once again, what was my question and are you willing to address it? It’s okay if not, but please just say so so I don’t have to ask you again.

      • So you have managed to disconnect warming from SLR. Interesting form of denial. Your question was something about if you haven’t personally seen any effect of climate change, should the world try for a policy to mitigate the other 75% of it that will happen by 2100? I say yes, because your observation is deficient.

      • Danny Thomas

        Jim D,
        Reading deficiency it is.
        What I said was (and I quote): “what has this warming ‘exacerbated’?
        The answer found: ice melt (excluding Antarctica)/slr, and surprisingly snow fall.”
        Since slr wasn’t in caps perhaps you missed it.

        And I didn’t say “I personally” haven’t seen. I researched and found no indication of exacerbated effects on:
        Precipitation (except snowfall)
        Droughts
        ACE
        Tornadoes
        and I couldn’t locate a wind energy source.

        And finally, once again repeating (yes redundant), I did not mention emissions or policy.

        Since it’s been warming as we know since 1950, and weather has not been exacerbated during this warming, why should I expect that to change moving forward. Simple, and narrow.

        So lacking a direct response, I’ll presume you have no answer.

        Thanks

      • Can I assume that you have not read any part of the IPCC WG2 on impacts, current and expected, or do you have a selective memory on this subject?
        http://www.ipcc-wg2.gov/AR5/images/uploads/WG2AR5_SPM_FINAL.pdf

      • Danny Thomas

        Jim D,
        What you can assume is that summaries for policymakers is not of interest in this question. What you can assume is I’ve looked and found what I told you I found and notice you’ve offered nothing to indicate I’m inaccurate.
        It’s warmed since 1950. Other than melting ice (excluding Antarctica) and associated SLR, I’ve found zero instances of ‘exacerbation’ of weather w/r/t precipitation (excluding snowfall), drought, tornadoes, and ACE.

        Lacking further evidence I expect this to not change due to increasing warmth.

        I’m no where near in denial of warming. It appears the “Interesting form of denial” is yours as to the question posed and the evidence provided.

        Thank you for the confirmation.

      • SPMs are the answers by the experts to the specific question that you posed, but anyway if that is not good enough for you, who am I to convince you, fine.

      • Danny Thomas

        Jim D,
        But what does the unhelpful SPM say.? Medium confidence of extreme events with warming to date (yet other than ice melt/SLR) that evidence is not found in hindsight. Then it forecasts for greater incidence with high confidence.
        My question is since it’s not happened in the past why would I expect it to going forward?
        The SPM does not have my specific question with my specific weather events.
        You profess to have scientific knowledge which I why you were asked. Apparently, I barked up the wrong tree.

      • So I stick with my first answer. This is only a quarter of the effect by a century from now, and it is already a degree C. You want to wait until there are some disasters from it that then have to be attributed to your satisfaction. I get it. Michigan wanted to delay for more water testing and attribution before doing anything about their lead crisis, while the EPA were already sure action was needed. It is like that.

      • Danny Thomas

        Jim D,
        “You want to wait until there are some disasters from it that then have to be attributed to your satisfaction.”
        All I’ve stated is the evidence. This is not about me or my satisfaction. I stated the evidence found and asked a follow on question which you’re apparently unable or unwilling to address directly.

        I did not quibble with that it has warmed. In fact I stated it. Future warming was not questioned. The question was simple. I get that you’re unwilling/unable to address. Your crystal ball is even wishing to state how much warming will occur yet it’s obviously cloudy when it comes to answering my question.

        Flint is a travesty, but completely outside the scope of my inquiry.

        Stick with you answer that it’s warmed, and will continue. This is unresponsive and you know it.

      • Yet WG2 is not good enough. That was the motivation for Paris, but it left you cold. Paris is not about where we are, but where we want to go. If you like things as they are climatewise, I suggest you promote keeping it that way. You have that in common with the activists who are actually also conservative when it comes to the global climate.

      • Danny Thomas

        Jim D,
        SPM did not address the specific question. If it did, and I missed it, I invite specific citation.

        You keep talking about what I promote, emission, policy, etc. These are outside the bounds of a very specific question.

        Your continued deflection is surprising.

      • You like the climate as it is, but don’t want to do anything to keep it that way. Is that how to frame your view?

      • Danny Thomas

        JimD,
        Deflection and reading issues again. This is not about me, climate today, or yesterday or tomorrow. It’s warmed since 1950. Extreme weather related to precipitation (excluding snowfall), drought, ACE, has not been ‘exacerbated’ by GW to this point. Why would that be expected to change? Serious, direct, narrow question. Quit trying to modify it to suit your preference.

      • It has warmed about 1 C. It will warm about 3 C more with no action, maybe 1 C more with action. Is that the answer you want? I won’t mention sea level.

      • Danny Thomas

        I think you’re being intentionally obstinate here. It’s warmed. If it continues warming, it’ll be warmer. Okay, we’re past that.
        While it’s warmed there has been no increase in the parameters I’ve laid out. What would cause it to change due to warming? Geez. How is this not clear?

        I’m excluding emission/policy. Only talking about Drought, ACE, precipitation (except snowfall), and tornadoes which have not been ‘exacerbated’ since 1950 all while it’s warmed. Givens: warming and ICE melt (excluding Antarctica) and associated SLR.

        Last attempt. Feel certain others are tired of hearing from me.

      • 3 C may sound tame but it is about four standard deviations of the summer average temperature. Colder than average summers a century from now will be hotter than the top 1% of summers now. What is the top 1% like, you will ask? Think Texas 2011, France 2003, or Russia 2010. This is from Hansen’s (2012) Perception of Climate Change paper, for people who just don’t get it.

      • Danny Thomas

        Sigh. I didn’t quantify temperature whatsoever. I’m talking about other weather events. You get that and chose to ignore so I’ll just move along.
        This does allow me to gain a greater understanding of the ‘climate wars’ and why they occur. Can’t get a straight answer when you ask one who’s more climate concerned.

      • Thought you muttered something about droughts. Oh well. Tornadoes and hurricanes are bad enough. Do you need them to get worse somehow too?

      • Danny Thomas

        Jim D,
        Just now noticing I said droughts? In case ya missed it I also mentioned precipitation (except snowfall), ACE, and tornadoes? And since none of these have gotten worse while it’s warmed think I’ll just go relax in the sun and work on my tan. Obviously, thought IPCC want’s to attribute that group being more extreme due to GW all I can see is it’s gotten warmer and warmth begats warmth.

        It’s not me that ‘needs’ these to get worse, it’s you (and yours). I’m fine where they are and they seem to be fine where they are also due to no indication they have or intend to change.

      • So when I mentioned some heatwaves and droughts and stats that say these types of summers are getting and will get more frequent, you complained I didn’t answer. No pleasing some. Why not just take an answer, or acknowledge some level of comprehension that it was given?

      • Danny Thomas

        Jim D,
        You talking about droughts is different that an actual climate scientist with peer reviewed work stating droughts have not been ‘exacerbated’. You do see the difference I assume: http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v491/n7424/abs/nature11575.htmlf

        I asked for evidence that I was inaccurate and lacking same, I’ll go with the peer reviewed. Would you not?

        Wanna move on to ACE, precipitation (excluding snowfall), and tornadoes?

        So why not acknowledge that it was given?

      • Hansen was peer reviewed, and he talked about droughts and heatwaves and a firestorm, like I said. Do you even read my answers? It’s hopeless. Have you ruled out that the all-time record Louisiana flooding was due to a warmer climate where more rain can fall in a shorter time? These are the kinds of things that only show up in long-term statistics. How about the strongest hurricane recorded in the southern hemisphere, and more being seen in previously rare places, and Haiyan in the west Pacific almost meriting a new category beyond 5? Yes, anecdotal, but signs portending statistical changes. Irene and Sandy affecting NY/NJ within a couple of years too.

      • Danny Thomas

        Jim D,
        Yes, I read your non-responses. But I also notice your non-links. All time record La. flooding? Can you attribute that soley to GW vs. El Nino?

        Strong hurricanes is vs. ACE. Hurricanes get strong. Records have been set.

        Seems to me they’re weakening.

        Anecdotes? Won’t even go there. I lived thru Alvin,Tx and 43″ of rain in 24 hours in 1979. So what? That’s not been done before (note, before) or since (note since).

        Irene and Sandy? Were those ‘exacerbated’ (excluding SLR?) from GW? Link, please.

        So outta what you’ve mentioned you’ve got one. Have records not been set sans GW?

        So, I’ll ask the same question again. Droughts, tornadoes, ACE, and precipitation (excluding snowfall)? Thank you very much.

      • Climate is statistics. Individual cases of rare events need a long time to become significant, so this is why you don’t see people saying hurricanes are significantly changing. Higher water temperatures can allow longer tracks and greater intensity for obvious reasons, but with only a few storms per year those statistics don’t show up for decades. On the other hand temperature is daily, and easily shown to be changing. Extremes also shift. When the temperature shifts by a standard deviation, as it has already, 100-year summer-mean records become 10-year events. Droughts and floods are tied to temperatures too, and extremes are expected to show up more frequently over long enough periods for the statistics. So, the only reason you are not already hearing about hurricanes and other rare extremes is because of statistical significance, but temperature drives it all, and you do hear about that.

      • Danny Thomas

        Jim D,
        Thank you for that. “Climate is statistics”. I never would have guessed that empirical was of no importance. I learn so much here.
        “Higher water temperatures can allow longer tracks and greater intensity for obvious reasons.” So I’d appreciate an indication that longer tracks and greater intensity have occurred since 1950 as I don’t see that having happened w/r/t precipitation (excluding snowfall), droughts (link previously provided), ACE, and tornadoes. (Links available, let me know if you’ve not seen them).
        Again, I’m not arguing temperature. But this seems to be getting past you.
        “Extremes are expected to show up more frequently over long enough periods for the statistics.” you say even though I’ve not found this to be the case since 1950 w/r/t ‘extreme (weather) events. So what is a ‘long enough period”? From 1950 to date is over 65 years and is well over that which is considered to be climate scale. And it’s not much more than that between now and 2100 where ‘projections’ indicate greater severity.
        Then, “but temperature drives it all, and you do hear about that.” and yet, it’s not occurred since 1950. So what is the reason, and why would one expect that to change soley due to warming, going forward?
        The current events (Louisiana which you brought forward) correlate well with El Nino. Why is that excluded?
        “Individual cases of rare events need a long time to become significant” such as my Alvin, Tx experience of 1979 where 43″ of rain fell in 24 hours? Hmm. I think this was indeed significant when it occurred, yet no attribution to GW has taken place. http://www.accuweather.com/en/weather-news/the-greatest-24hour-deluge-in/52828

        Maybe it’s just weather, and so has been drought occurrence (evidenced by previously offered link), ACE, precipitation (excluding snowfall), and tornadoes. (Let me know if you require links).

        My question remains unanswered and I think you have none.

      • I explained why you can’t find statistics on extreme events changing, so we are back to what is changing and that if you like the current climate, you should be promoting not messing with it. This is accomplished by not pushing CO2 to levels not seen in 30-40 million years when the climate was best described as an iceless hothouse. I know that part and parcel of climate science dismissal is the whole of paleoclimate, so this evidence won’t mean much to you either, but there it is, the Eocene, look it up. The BAU forcing in 2100 is comparable to that.

      • Curious George

        “about a quarter of the warming expected by the next century”. Expected by experts? By models? Please link to a reliable climate model.

      • You don’t need models, just the temperature record so far which gives over 2 C per doubling as a transient rate. So 700 ppm at an equilibrium 3 C per doubling puts the net warming at 4 C when that GHG effect is realized. It is 1 C so far at 400 ppm. 700 ppm is from a 1% annual emission growth rate (half the historic rate). So the warming so far is a small fraction of what it will be in a century.

      • You don’t need models, just the temperature record so far which gives over 2 C per doubling as a transient rate.

        Transient rate since 1979: 1.68C per CO2 doubling.

        Rates of total RF peaked around 1989 and rates of forcing due to CO2 appear to be peaking now.

      • Transient rate since the beginning of the Keeling curve 60 years ago, 2.4 C per doubling (higher for land only). That looks the most robust estimate.

      • remember no warming in 17 years? 17-year trend is now .188 ℃ per decade.

        Oh yeah, TCS is low. Lol.

        The pause fooled a lot of really smart people. No shame in it.

      • don’t even think about slowing emissions

        Emissions are already slowing in China, US, Europe, Japan, Russia and most of the developed world.

        And they appear close to slowing for the world as a whole:

      • Transient rate since the beginning of the Keeling curve 60 years ago, 2.4 C per doubling (higher for land only). That looks the most robust estimate.

        I haven’t looked at that period, but if true, it points out how much the rate of response has slowed down.

      • Danny Thomas

        TE,

        Do you have any thoughts on my question as to why in past warming weather extremes have not occurred, so why should I be expecting that to change based on further warming?

        Thanks,

      • Curious George

        Eddie, do you have real data? You show results of a preliminary analysis for 2014 and 2015.

      • Danny,
        Do you have any thoughts on my question as to why in past warming weather extremes have not occurred, so why should I be expecting that to change based on further warming?

        Predicting temperature rise from RF is relatively straight-forward.

        Predicting weather, or the statistics of future weather is not straight forward at all. After the severe-weather-attribution posting, I looked a bit more at GCMs. From what I gather, most are hydro-static, a term which refers to simplifications in the equations of motions. The hydro-static approximation necessarily excludes features such as thunderstorms and tight cold front gradients. Even the non-hydro-static models used for weather forecasting can’t predict such events more than some number of days into the future without degrading into useless chaos. Because of these considerations, there is no hope of predicting individual weather events. As such, I am not convinced there’s much value in the statistics from GCM runs. If someone has a cogent reason to believe the statistics of weather events which cannot themselves be predicted, I’d like to read it.

        I have seen it put that unpredictability doesn’t matter because weather averages out in the long run. That raises some points:
        1. It sounds like an assertion, not a physical law and
        2. If weather averages out in the GCM runs, then there’s not reason to expect change, is there?
        3. And over what periodicity does weather average out? Is ten days without rain a drought? a year? Seven years, like Texas in the 1950s? Multiple centuries as in the tree ring records of the SW? It would seem that there isn’t a lot of averaging out.

      • Turbulent Eddie: Predicting temperature rise from RF is relatively straight-forward.

        I think that at the Earth surface there are some complications and the prediction is not straight-forward (you did not specify “relative to what?”)

        1. At the ocean surface, the effects of increased downwelling long-wave infrared have not been well studied. As the water temperature increases the water vapor pressure increases about 6% per C, and exactly how the increased RF influences both temperature increase and evaporation increase has not been well quantified. I ask about this frequently, but I have not gotten good answers.

        2. More generally, as the earth surface warms the transfers of energy from the Earth surface by the three processes estimated by Stephens et al and Trenberth et al increase supralinearly: advection/convection, evapotranspiration, radiation. How much they all increase together has not been addressed by anyone except me, as far as I have been able to learn so far. These increases in energy transfer rates put a limit on how much warming can be powered by 4 W/m^2 increased RF.

      • mm:Turbulent Eddie: Predicting temperature rise from RF is relatively straight-forward.

        I think that at the Earth surface there are some complications and the prediction is not straight-forward (you did not specify “relative to what?”)
        What I was trying to distinguish is not so much how accurately or exactly where all the heat may go, but we know invariably when RF is imposed in the seasonal average for a hemisphere that summers are warmer than winters.

        But that very nearly the same RF regime and transition over the seasons produces vastly different amounts of severe weather ( tornadoes, hurricanes, droughts, floods, etc. ).

        That’s consistent with an infinite variety of circulation patterns and variances which are all equally valid, if no stable, for a given RF distribution.

        So temperature may be much more predictable than weather or climate.

        Now, I’ve opined that global warming shouldn’t change weather or climate very much, because RF is somewhat uniform around the globe ( a little higher in the tropics, a little lower at the poles, but no great change to the pole-to-equator gradient, seasonally, or in the annual mean, which ultimately drives circulation.

        On the other hand, there is some case to be made for increasing the general instability of the atmosphere by adding CO2 alone ( because CO2 effect is to increase RF for the lower troposphere, but not change the upper troposphere much ). Heating and humidifying the atmosphere tends to increase the instability ( both tend to cool the upper troposphere ).

        How that shakes out would remain to be seen, because some of that is resolved by large scale circulation. Some is resolved by deep convection. And when forecasting thunderstorms, sometimes increased instability doesn’t lead to big storms, but lots of small storms.

      • George:Eddie, do you have real data? You show results of a preliminary analysis for 2014 and 2015.

        Well, you’ll just have to cope with the fact that global emissions estimates come from accounting, not measurements.

        But that’s the latest understanding and it’s consistent in flattening out like the EDGAR estimates:

        And it’s consistent with my theme, that I’ll harp on again:
        falling population and with it falling CO2 emissions will happen relatively soon because of global demographic trends – no panic necessary.

      • Danny,

        You are wasting your time. The D in Jim D stands for Deflon. An incredibly dense, non-stick material that protects Jim from factual argument getting in the way of his belief system. He can’t answer your question because Deflon won’t let him.

        Jim D,

        I suggest you go back to basics on the issue of SLR. Namely running unit conversion exercises. Try converting 3.3mm/year to inches and running it out to the end of the century. Once you’ve shown sufficient competence to perform that task, we can then take up the issue of how 8″ is a dire threat to mankind.

  24. Scientists are alarmed: When I look at the Feb 2016 temperatures, I feel like I’m looking at something out of a sci-fi movie [link] …

    NOAA said Earth averaged 56.08 degrees (13.38 degrees Celsius) in February, 2.18 degrees (1.21 degrees Celsius) above average, beating the old record for February set in 2015 by nearly six-tenths of a degree (one-third of a degree Celsius). These were figures that had federal scientists grasping for superlatives.

    Jason Furtado, a meteorology professor at the University of Oklahoma who wasn’t part of any of the government teams, simply wrote in an email: “Welcome to the new normal.” He got that right, the new normal has been in place for ten thousand years, look at ice core data.

    This is alarming to them, only because they really do not understand natural climate cycles.

    It must get warm to thaw ocean sea ice to promote snowfall to replenish the ice on land in the Antarctic, Greenland and the Mountain Glaciers. Ocean effect snow does occur when oceans are warm and thawed. Ocean effect snow does not occur when oceans are cold and frozen. These are simple, well known, facts.

    Warm times are normal, natural and necessary, that is when ocean effect snow replenishes ice on land. These are natural cycles and man does not cause or control them.

    • Speaking Of Oklahoma, the State was once the floor of a sea. Hope that doesn’t cycle around again anytime soon. We have enough to worry about with cheap oil, meth labs, and earth quakes.

      • max10k,

        So did Oklahoma rise, or did the sea level fall? If so why?

        I wouldn’t worry too much about Oklahoma sinking again. There’s little you can do about it. You might just feel like kicking back, relaxing, and being content.

        If you feel I should be worrying about Oklahoma and climate change, feel free to worry twice as hard on my behalf. We can both be content we are doing the right and moral thing!

        Cheers.

      • Max,

        single handedly proving that those people who believe the highest average level of schooling Oklahoman’s obtain is the 3rd grade may in fact be correct.

      • On second thought, I should apologize for that last comment.

        Most of the 3rd graders I’ve had the privilege to work with (Junior Achievement and science education) exhibit a far greater degree of understanding and maturity than max does at Climate Etc. I don’t want to insult them with a comparison to max.

      • Don’t need no book learnin to see thru Nuke nuts.

      • You can’t even insult people intelligently.

      • Sorry, nuke nuts and flakes.

  25. When I think about how really wrong that consensus opinion is, it does sometimes make my stomach hurt.

    • Well, if thinking its wrong makes your stomach hurt, stop thinking its wrong.

      Patient: Doc, it hurts when I do this.

      Doctor: Well, don’t do that.

      From TV’s Hee Haw

    • max10k,

      It doesn’t matter what one thinks about the delusional Warmist consensus, nonsense is still nonsense, and facts remain facts. Refusing to think about nonsense won’t make it any less nonsensical, will it?

      Telling somebody what to think or do seems to me to smack of self righteous fanaticism, but I’m fairly certain to Warmists it’s just their God-given duty to administer religious correction to unbelievers.

      What do you think?

      Cheers.

  26. What do I think? I think you would benefit from eating a large bowl of prunes.

    • max10k,

      You wrote –

      “What do I think? I think you would benefit from eating a large bowl of prunes”

      Another meaningless Warmist collection of random words, or is there a hidden meaning? What are you trying to say? Do you think I suffer from a condition that can be cured by eating prunes? Why would you think such a thing?

      Are you suffering from a mental perturbation, or just pretending, in order to seek sympathy?

      Please provide some explanation, in case I am misjudging your degree of mental deficiency. I don’t wish to take advantage if you are disabled.

      Cheers.

      • Mike Flynn asks

        “Do you think I suffer from a condition that can be cured by eating prunes?”
        _____

        I suspect you suffer from constipation because you seem very irritable and out of sorts.

  27. There is nothing funny about doomsday.
    Unless you think it’s funny to put your head between your knees & kiss your @$$ goodbye.
    You either look unhinged and in need of medication, like the weather girl, a smarmy whiner who thinks he’s funny, but is just painful, or the song, which acknowledges the success of the climate consensus rebels against the climate machine. Do’h. Own goal.
    But, making fun of people who stand on street corners with a sign saying, “The End of The world is Nigh”, is a long running tradition of comedy/parody, and many of the comedy masters have done it.
    George Carlin – Saving the Planet** is a classic.

    Now that is funny because it’s true.
    ** Language Warning.

  28. David Wojick

    Sciencemag and NCSE claim that science teachers who teach about the climate debate are confused and ignorant. Pat Michaels and I disagree.
    http://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/confusion-science

    • David Wojick,

      If climatologists are sufficiently dim not to realise that 7 billion people creating heat will produce more heat than 1 billion people, then I do not wonder that science teachers appear confused and ignorant to them.

      To the delusional, reality appears unreal. Fantasy is taken to be fact. Reality will hopefully eventually triumph, but lunacy may well prevail in the interim. In spite of peace appearing preferable to war, war seems to be the rule, rather than the exception!

      Oh dear, all very confusing!

      Cheers.

  29. RE: “The Mattering Instinct: Interview on is/ought, phil & sci, & much else w Rebecca Goldstein”

    Goldstein is another one of the evangelists of New Atheism who thinks she’s found an easy solution to the is-ought problem.

    “My intuition is that the concept of mattering bridges the is-ought gap,” she tells us. “To determine that certain things matter is also to say that we ought to pursue them, so it’s a bridge concept.”

    New Atheism, like environmentalism, is another example of what can go disastrously wrong at the intersection where philosophy meets science.

    The fundamental assumption underlying both New Atheism and evironmentlaism is what is known as Positivism, or scientism. It not only sets scientific objectivism up as a superior way of knowing, but denigrates or completely dismisses other ways of knowing. Here’s how Daniel Yankelovich describes it in Coming to Public Judgment:

    The heart of philosophy’s quarrel with objectivism is its claim that it is the only valid form of knowledge, and that there are no others.

    Where objectivism goes most seriously awry is in taking the step from the proposition “factual information is a valid mode of knowledge” to the conclusion that “there are no other valid forms of knowledge, certianly not those based on judgment.”

    The Positivists then use their philosophy of science to construct a science. They in turn use this science they created to demonstrate that their philosophy is true. This is what it looks like:

    • David Wojick

      Positivism was an important advance in philosophy of science about a hundred years ago, but we have come a long way since then. Is it still around? I would be surprised.

      • David,

        Not only is Posivism “still around,” but it is still very much on the rise.

        One has to look no further than the field of climate science to see it manifested in spades.

        The veteran pollster Daniel Yankelovich describes it this way in Coming to Public Judgment:

        Unhapily, the objectivist outlook — its dogmatic narrowness, its equation of reality with the measurable and quantifiable, its dedication to specialization and expertise, its contempt for modes of knowing that are not information driven — is still in its virulent phase of ascendancy in the United States, and no amount of philosphical analysis can stop it.

        John Gray put it this way in Al Qaeda and What It Means to Be Modern:

        From the eighteenth century onwards, it came to be believed that the growth of scientific knowledge and the emancipation of mankind marched hand in hand.

        This Enlightenment faith — for it soon acquired the trappings of religion — was most clearly expressed in an exotic, sometimes grotesque but vastly and enduringly influential early nineteenth-century intellectual movement that called itself Positivism.

        The Positivists believed that as societies came to be based on science they were bound to become more alike. Scientific knowledge would engender a universal morality in which the aim of society was as much produciton as possible.

        Through the use of technology, humanity would extend its power over the Earth’s resources and overcome the worst forms of natural scarcity. Poverty and war could be abolished. Through the power given it by science, humanity would be able to create a new world….

        This may seem a fantastical creed, and so it is. What is more fantastic is that it is still believed. It shapes the progammes of mainstream political parties throughout the world.

      • David Wojick

        Glenn, whatever you are talking about is not the positivism in philosophy of science that I am talking about. I doubt that there are any positivists working in philosophy of science today. You and your citations seem to be talking about popular social theorists or something, not philosophy of science.

    • So what does this circular logic look like with Goldstein and the New Atheists?

      The starting point of their philosophy is Descartes’ cognito ergo sum — “I think therefore I am.” This gets regurgitated in the thought of Goldstein as follows:

      To be a fully functioning, non-depressed person is to live and to act, to take it for granted that you can act on your own behalf, pursue your goals and projects. And that we have a right to be treated in accord with our own commitment to our lives mattering.

      So this is what I mean by the mattering instinct, that commitment to one’s own life that is inseparable from pursuing a coherent human life.

      Cartesian philosophy, however, never went uncontested.

      “Hobbes spoke for nearly every empiricist when he argued that Descartes had estalbished his system upon a faulty foundation by positing the I as fundamental,” Michael Allen Gillespie explains in Nihilism Before Nietzsche.

      “More importantly, without the certainty of the I,” he adds, “Descartes’ apodictic science lacks a foundation.”

      So under the scrutiny of Hume, the Positivists’ hierarcy of truth-seeking looks more like this, with the “I” perched at the top of the pyramid.

      As Allen Gillespie goes on to explain, in the post-Kantian philosophy of Fichte and his disciples (e.g., Hegel, Schelling, Marx, etc.) the “I” would transmogrify into the “Imperial I,” a paragon of egoism, egotism, and ego-centricism.

      What Richard Dawkins did, then, was to go looking for factual evidence of the existence of this “Imperial I,” And of course evidence of such a thing is not difficult to find, and Dawkins found plenty of it. Goldstein, in turn, found Dawkins. As she writes:

      And I also ought to mention that I think the mattering instinct is a natural consequence of natural selection. The basic unit of survival in natural selection is the gene, which survives by being replicated in future generations—the gist of Richard Dawkins’ useful, if misunderstood phrase, “the selfish gene.” A gene’s default scheme is to give the organism traits that help it (the organism) to survive, and to endow that organism with an unthinking ceaseless instinct to survive: to seek sustenance, flee the predator, be devoted 24/7 to seeing another dawn. Self-preservation is a prerequisite to an entity persisting rather than entropically falling apart, and a gene’s best strategy is to keep an organism intact for as long as the genes need it in order to get themselves replicated…..

      Yes, I want to explain the mattering instinct in terms of evolutionary psychology because I think everything about us, everything about human nature, demands an evolutionary explanation. And I do think that the outlines of such an explanation are quite apparent. That I matter, that my life demands the ceaseless attention I give it, is exactly what those genes would have any organism believing, if that organism was evolved enough for belief. The will to survive evolves, in a higher creature like us, into the will to matter.

      Dawkins’ science that Goldstein bases her moral philosophy upon is indeed based upon evidence.

      But here’s the rub: the evidence is incomplete. The evidence was cherry picked, either consciously or unconsciously, to coform to the philosophy of the “Imperial I.”

      The complete reality, as Herbert Gintis et al note in Moral Sentiments and Material Interests,” is that some humans exhibit costly behavior, such as benevolence and strong reciprocity, “even when it is implausible to expect that these costs will be recovered at a later date.”

      So humans exhibit a broad array of self-sacrificing behavior, and Dawkins gives a very incomplete description of this behavior. And since Dawkins doesn’t even get the empirical reality right, his selfish-gene theorizing also hits wide of the mark.

      Nevertheless, as Joan B. Silk charges, “data that do not conform to predictions derived from these models [based on selfish-gene theory] have been discounted, denied, or simply ignored because they do not fit into our theoretical paradigms.” (Joan B. Silk, “The Evolution of Cooperaiton in Primate Groups”)

      So here’s what the “Imperial I” –> selfish gene –> “Imperial I” circular logic looks like:

      A far more nuanced and sophisticated look at Einstein’s moral philosophy, one which does not depart so greatly from factual reality, was written by Susan Neiman, director of the Einstein Forum:

      [Kant’s is] the only answer the leading modern philosopher ever gave to the leading moral question philosophers are routinely asked. Is anything absolutely right, or absolutely wrong—and if so, how would I know it?

      Kant offers the example at a crucial juncture in the Critique of Practical Reason, just when readers hope he’s about to show them that the moral law is absolutely true.

      Those hopes are disappointed. For moral principles are never true. Truth is a matter of the way the world is; morality is a matter of the way the world ought to be. The distinction between is and ought, this book will argue, is the most important one we ever draw. It structures our experience in ways even deeper than the way experience comes structured into causes and effects.

      If morality is never a matter of fact, trying to convince moral skeptics with objective proofs is worse than senseless. Nor should we be urged to live rightly because it’s in our self-interest to do so. Such arguments leave
      us helpless whenever morality and self-interest part company; in the times when they don’t, we don’t need morality to move us.

      Facing Gallows
      http://www.einsteinforum.de/fileadmin/einsteinforum/downloads/victims_neiman.pdf

      • David Wojick

        Cartesian philosophy, now 400 years old, certainly went uncontested. Moreover it is pretty much the opposite of positivism. As an analytic philosopher I find what you are saying to be confused. Philosophy progresses with time, just as science does. So citing old systems makes no more sense than citing equally old science.

      • David Wojick

        Sorry, I meant went contested. To my knowledge there are no practicing Cartesians in the field today.

      • David Wojick said:

        Philosophy progresses with time, just as science does.

        That is a philosophical and scientific conceit, and reveals your own predelictions.

        I do not wish to set myself up as an arbiter of philosophical correctness, and for that reason I carefully cite quotes to illustrate the points I seek to make.

        Take, for instance, your assertion: “Philosophy progresses with time, just as science does.”

        Not all philosophers buy into your doctrine of progress. Here’s what Hannah Arendt had to say on it:

        Marx’s idea, borrowed from Hegel, that every old society harbors the seeds of its successors in the same way every living organism harbors the seeds of its offspring is indeed not only the most ingenious but also the only possible concptual guarantee for the sempiternal continuity of progress in history….

        To be sure, a guarantee that in the final analysis rests on little more than a metaphor is not the most solid basis to erect a doctrine upon, but this, unhappily, Marxism shares with a great many other doctrines in philosophy.

        Its great advantage becomes clear as soon as one compares it with other concepts of history — such as “eternal recurrences,” the rise and fall of empires, the haphazard sequence of essentially unconnected events — all of which can equally be documented and justified, but none of which will guarantee a continuum of linear time and continuous progress in history….

        Of course, there are a few melancholy side effects in the reassuring idea that we need only march into the future, which we cannot help doing anyhow, in order to find a better world. There is first of all the simple fact that the general future of mankind has nothing to offer to individual life, whose only certain future is death….

        However, these disadvantages, which were only rarely noticed, are more than outweighted by an enormous advantage: progress not only explains the past without breaking up the time contiuum but it can serve as a guide for acting into the future.

        This is what Marx discovered when he turned Hegel upside down: he changed the direction of the historian’s glance; instead of looking toward the past, he now could confidently look into the future.

        Progress gives an answer to the troublesome quesiton, And what shall we do now? The answer, on the lowest level, says: Let us develop what we have into something better, greater, et cetera. (The, at first glance, irraitonal faith of liberals in growth, so characteristic of all our present political and economic theories, depends on this notion.)

        On the more sophisticated level of the Left, it tells us to develop present contradictions into their inherent synthesis.

        In either case we are assured that nothing altogether new and totally unexpected can happen, nothing but the “necessary” results of what we already know. How reassuring that, in Hegel’s words, “nothing else will come out but what was already there.”

        I do not need to add that all our experiences in this century, which has constantly confronted us with the totally unexpected, stand in flagrant contradiction to these notions and doctrines, whose very popularity seems to consist in offering a comfortable, speculative or pseudo-scientific refuge from reality.

        — HANNAH ARENDT, On Violence

      • Steven Mosher

        David.
        Yes he is confused.
        He needs to get the difference between quoting and understanding.

  30. In reading the “warming ocean water undercuts Antarctic ice shelves” article, i saw no quantification or analysis of how much warmer the waters are from 100 years ago or how much the undercutting has accelerated during the last few hundreds of years or even acknowledgement of the geothermal activity in the region and a attribution analysis of how much that activity might be contributing to the warming that supposedly is going on.

    With the ice shelves going down to depths of 800 feet, these processes may be below waters measured for sea surface temperature readings, which are apparently cooling in the Southern Ocean.

    Since the paper is behind a paywall, it is not possible to see whether there are any of these analyses, but other papers with similar conclusions have not gone into depth to quantify the warming or to conclude these same dynamics did not exist for hundreds of years or to exclude influence of geothermal activity as the real cause.

  31. David Wojick

    Regarding the mystery of the source of the methane increase described here: http://insideclimatenews.org/news/10032016/mysterious-global-methane-rise-asian-agriculture-or-us-fracking

    They, being greens, fail to draw the obvious conclusion that massive, costly forced cuts to US oil and gas fugitive methane emissions cannot be justified given these uncertainties. Yet that is just what Obama and his EPA have announced.

    • Dr. Wojick:

      The topic of global methane is an example of a win/win approach of international trade advocated by Jon Huntsman (and others):

      If Climate Change is to be truly treated as serious on a global stage, pragmatic lessons must be drawn from international trade — where reciprocity reigns supreme. No country eliminates its trade barriers without reciprocal and meaningful concessions from trading partners.

      A huge source of global methane is rice production in Asia where fields are flooded. In the U.S., a variety of rice has been developed that does not require the ag practice of flooding.

      Under this win/win trade approach, enterprise zones would be created in developing countries to “test” concepts:

      Asian countries would import U.S. technology (in this example, new rice varieties). U.S. capital investment in rice agriculture would also be encouraged/available. A low carbon standard would be mutually agreed to on for rice production. If the specific “enterprise zone project” met the low carbon standard — then they would be given trade advantages into U.S. markets.

      • David Wojick

        The Asian rice producing countries might have a problem with this regulatory mandate: “A low carbon standard would be mutually agreed to on for rice production.” Fat chance.

        Then there is the niggling question of who will pay to physically restructure the entire rice farming system? Does “U.S. capital investment in rice agriculture would also be encouraged/available” mean foreign aide or US ownership?

        This is standard international climate change think tank nonsense.

      • Dr. Wojick

        What was/is Cato’s position on the U.S. Export/Import Bank that the U.S. Nuclear Power Industry so strongly supported to compete internationally (especially against China). Thanks.

  32. Kudos to Sally Brown for some refreshing circumspection in her Real Climate article. If this was the norm, the establishment might avoid some of the persistent criticism.

    The referenced studies are also appreciated.

    To the other extreme, I nominate for dumbest paper of the year the one evaluating the idea of pumping sea water onto Antarctica to offset SLR. New York City might be willing to loan one of their fireboats for helping with the effort if they decide to go ahead. On the hand, those pumps seem puny for the job. Oh,well.

  33. Memo to Defense: When one is being a total slob and using hopelessly loose terms like “climate change” in official or scientific communications, the only remedy is to stop using such loose terms. One has to cease being a slob. (Sure you’re up to defending the free world, dictionary-fiddlers?)

    Don’t condition us to identify the undeniable with the debatable by facile repetition of a vague term, don’t “define” a vague term by slanting it. Stop using the vague and commonplace term and find a precise name for your precise claims. After a couple of decades of incessant blather about climate, that still hasn’t been done. We are still asked if we believe in “climate change” and “global warming”, which is as sensible as asking if we believe in “air breathing” or “water based humidity”.

    Of course, as soon as something has a precise name to distinguish it, that closes the back doors and other escape routes for the fudgers and fiddlers. The push-poll game and the assumption industry could be brought down by too many hard specifics with exact definitions. Can’t have that. What’s left would be mere scientific inquiry. Shudder.

  34. Americans finally realize we cause climate change. New poll. Trend going the wrong way for the denialists.
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/climate-change-caused-by-humans-poll_us_56ec27f9e4b09bf44a9d164c?utm_hp_ref=climate-change

    • Yes, every issue in America should be determined by plebiscite.​

      ​How much of the federal budget goes to foreign aid?
      ​…
      ​Only 1 in 20 knew the right answer: less than 1 percent of the $4 trillion federal budget goes to foreign aid. The average respondent estimated that 26 percent went toward assisting other countries.​

      • At least on this issue, they are learning or just seeing finally despite the best efforts of the Republican Party who continue to deny this fact.

      • And if you polled regular readers of Huffington Post they would say the Pentagon spent 99.9% of the $4 Trillion rather than the actual amount of 15%. They would also say Social Programs spent .001% of the $4 Trillion budget rather than 75% which it actually is. An amount by the way could give 50% of all households nearly the median household income of $53,000 each year.

    • The pause made fools of a lot of people. It is surprising the percentage stayed above 50.

      • “I think that there is a dwindling number people who are still in denial about attributing most of the recent climate change to human causes. ”

        Jim D’s comment above is an excellent example of someone showing that their system of BELIEF is more important than actual science to them.

        The science is currently able to determine how much temperatures are changing. It is not capable of reliably determining how the “climate” is changing as a function of the temperature change.

      • Well, observations can demonstrate more than 100% is from GHGs. The average imbalance on decadal scales is positive (see OHC rise), so the forcing has exceeded the response. Net forcing is pretty much GHGs with some offset from aerosols, and periodically solar and volcanoes.

    • Jim D: Americans finally realize we cause climate change. New poll. Trend going the wrong way for the denialists.

      It depends on how the questions are asked: when asked to rank 10 or 15 public policy problems, American voters rank climate change last.

      “Denialist[s]” is an insulting word with no clear denotation. Is there someone to whom you are referring and whom you would like to quote?

      • I think that there is a dwindling number people who are still in denial about attributing most of the recent climate change to human causes. These people are not even saying it could be (like skeptics), but are outright saying it isn’t. I call them denialists, for want of a better word.

      • Jim D I call them denialists, for want of a better word.

        That reminds me of a question I ask now and then. If the Earth surface warms 1C (or, as the Earth surface has warmed 1C), what is the increase in the rate at which the Earth surface transfers energy to the troposphere and higher? GCMs put the increase in rainfall rate at 3% per degree C. O’Gorman’s survey put the empirical estimate of the increase in rainfall rate at 4% – 7% per degree C. Romps et al put the increase in CAPE at 8% per degree C and the increase in CAPE*PR at 12% per C. Radiant energy transfer increases at close to the Stepah-Beltzman law, which at current global mean temp is about 1% per degree C.

        Chris Colose explained to me at RealClimate that he prefers to do the energy balance calculation at the top of the atmosphere, where no crops or forests grow, and where humans are not affected by sea level rise or cyclonic storms. But what about the surface where the biological action is?

        Anthropogenic CO2 might have increased downwelling LWIR power by 1.5 W/m^2. With energy transfer rates from the surface as described in the peer-reviewed literature, that isn’t enough power to have raised the surface temperature by the amount observed since 1880.

      • Because the lapse rate depends on physics, it is known how much that changes, so the only way to balance increased top-of-atmosphere energy is for more surface energy to be emitted. The lapse rate constraint dictates that the surface temperature is the only free variable with which you can change the top-of-atmosphere radiated energy (apart from an albedo change).

      • Jim D: Because the lapse rate depends on physics, it is known how much that changes, so the only way to balance increased top-of-atmosphere energy is for more surface energy to be emitted.

        You don’t know the answer either, do you?

      • mathewrmarler wrote: “Chris Colose explained to me at RealClimate that he prefers to do the energy balance calculation at the top of the atmosphere, where no crops or forests grow, and where humans are not affected by sea level rise or cyclonic storms. But what about the surface where the biological action is?”

        The TOA energy balance calculation is simpler because all the energy fluxes are radiative at this level. It is a hard mathematical constraint. You can proceed in other ways, but that will not yield results that violate this constraint. You will get the same relationship between forcing and surface temperature change. Just changing the way you solve a physical problem, unless you fail to do it correctly, will not produce a result that contravenes the principle of conservation of energy. When TOA balance is achieved, while the latent heat flux from the surface also is increased, the sum total of the other surface fluxes (including radiative fluxes) adjust to cancel this increase. The net energy flux will be zero at the surface too.

      • @mwm: If the Earth surface warms 1C (or, as the Earth surface has warmed 1C), what is the increase in the rate at which the Earth surface transfers energy to the troposphere and higher?

        Your question is ill-posed.

        Under your stipulated condition, assuming c_p of 1 J/g/K for air, a mass of 5E21 g for the atmosphere, and a constant lapse rate, the atmosphere’s energy will increase by 5E21 joules. But that’s not a rate, which would be in watts, not joules.

        If it took a century (3E9 seconds) to increase 1 C, then under the additional assumption of a constant rate of energy transfer the rate would be a steady 1.7E12 watts or 1.7 TW over that period.

        But that’s still not an increase in rate. You need a better question.

      • Pierre-Normand Houle: The TOA energy balance calculation is simpler because all the energy fluxes are radiative at this level. It is a hard mathematical constraint. You can proceed in other ways, but that will not yield results that violate this constraint.

        Nor am I claiming to violate any constraint. My questions are simple, and address the Earth surface, where all the human and biotic interest are. At the surface, what will be the change in the rate of energy transfer from surface to atmosphere and space if the surface temperature increases 1C? Neither you nor anyone else has tried to calculate an answer; I made a stab at it based on results published in the peer-reviewed literature. Given that change in energy flux, how much surface warming can be produced by a 4 W/m^2 increase in DWLWIR? You don’t express interest in the answer to that question.

        Back to TOA: at TOA, how much will be the increase in property damage caused by sea level rise or cyclonic storms? What will be the increased suffering to the biota at TOA, or the damages to human agriculture?

        In case you are missing the point: All the alarming results are said to occur at the Earth surface, but almost all of the published calculations pertain to thousand of kilometers away from the surface. Yet the standard theory (an easy reference is a series of posts at Isaac Held’s blog) confirms that there is more expected warming at high altitude than at the Earth surface.

        Trying to infer surface temperature change from TOA change entails a great leap of faith. Can TOA temp increase while stratosphere temp decreases? How exactly, and I do mean “exactly”, how (and I do refer to the mechanism) does that occur?

        Now back to the main points: at the surface, how does the surface flux change as mean temperature changes? Given that, how much temperature increase can be produced by a doubling of the CO2 concentration of the atmosphere?

        Don’t you know? Don’t you care?

      • Vaughan Pratt: But that’s still not an increase in rate. You need a better question.

        I disagree. The question is not ill-posed, rather the answer is complex and unknown. If the Earth surface mean temperature increases by 1c, how much does the energy flux away from the surface increase?

        But let me try this question: How does a calculation of TOA temperature change relate to a surface temperature change? Another: What are the mechanisms by which TOA temperature increases and stratosphere temperature decreases — both in response to increased atmospheric CO2? Is the stratosphere not considered part of the atmosphere, or unrelated to the “top”? Perhaps because of its overall low density and mass?

        How exactly has anyone concluded that the Earth surface will experience disastrous warming, if all the calculations relate to TOA?

      • I disagree. The question is not ill-posed, rather the answer is complex and unknown.

        I would be fascinated to see your argument as to why “the answer” should exist.

        A question with multiple answers is an ill-posed question. In your case your question admits infinitely many possible answers. Unless you can show that your question admits only one answer, or at least a manageably small number, you have not supported your claim that your question is not ill-posed.

        If the Earth surface mean temperature increases by 1c, how much does the energy flux away from the surface increase?

        This is still ill-posed, though not as badly as your previous question. There are still infinitely many possible answers. Any competent physics student encountering this question in an exam would recognize it as meaningless.

        What you could reasonably ask about a 1 C increase in surface temperature is the increase in energy of the atmosphere. I answered this above, namely 5E21 joules.

        In the absence of any mention of time, nothing can be said even about energy flux, let alone any increase in such flux. If you don’t believe this then we’ve reached an impasse.

        Your remaining five questions also look ill-posed, for similar reasons. Simply saying “the question is not ill-posed” without proof as you did above can only lead to an impasse, as would insisting that 2+2 = 5 without proof.

      • mathewrmrler wrote: “Given that change in energy flux, how much surface warming can be produced by a 4 W/m^2 increase in DWLWIR?”

        Aren’t you assuming that things have settled into a steady state? In that case, the amount of surface warming expected just is the warming required for it, together with the atmosphere warming, to produce a Planck response that cancels the previous forcing change. This cancellation occurs at the TOA. As Jim D already hinted, the further constraint imposed by the lapse rate (which doesn’t remain exactly constant because of the negative lapse rate feedback) makes all the surface fluxe variations other than the longwave emissions from the surface directly to space irrelevant to the computation of the surface warming, since they contribute nothing whatsoever to the Planck response.

        In summary, given (1) the forcing change, (2) the lapse rate constraint, and (3) the constrain of TOA energy balance, one has all that’s needed to compute the surface temperature change required for restoring steady state (using a simple radiative-convective model). A more detailed GCM is required, of course, in order to better account for the feedbacks, but that doesn’t seem to be your beef here.

      • matthewrmarler wrote: “How does a calculation of TOA temperature change”

        I not encountered before the concept of TOA temperature. I am unsure what you mean. We speak of TOA fluxes. Those fluxes consist in the Solar input, in one direction, and the total IR flux from below (including the IR emissions from the surface through the atmospheric window) in the other direction.

      • Pierre-Normande,

        You wrote –

        “We speak of TOA fluxes. Those fluxes consist in the Solar input, in one direction, and the total IR flux from below (including the IR emissions from the surface through the atmospheric window) in the other direction.”

        What you wrote sounds extremely sciencey, but is complete nonsense. You may speak of TOA fluxes, and thereby demonstrate your complete denial (or ignorance, I know not which), of radiative physics, but I do not see what you hope to gain.

        People such as Schmidt, Mann, Hansen, even Pierrehumbert (who should know better), promulgate complete nonsense. Consider what you wrote. Do you not see any contradictions or false assumptions?

        You may choose to live in denial of fact, physics, and Nature. I don’t, but that is my choice. I wish you well in your denialist world of fantasy. Enjoy.

        Cheers.

      • One aspect of the science that is consistently mangled on blogs and in the press is storms in a future atmosphere that has more greenhouse gases. It gets simplified to more storms that are more intense when the prediction is there will be fewer storms.

        Fewer storms. Less storms. There will not be as many storms. If you are expecting more storms, start over.

        Among the fewer storms, there will be storms that are more intense. So in some sense climate models hint at the answer before the question was asked.

      • JCH,

        You wrote –

        “Among the fewer storms, there will be storms that are more intense. So in some sense climate models hint at the answer before the question was asked.”

        And you arrived at this awe-inspiring piece of fantasy, precisely how? Or if not fantasy, how did you achieve your psychic ability to see into the future (as well as the past)?

        Fewer storms than what? How many storms were there in 1743, or 1943? What intensity were they? How many will there be in 2023? How intense will they be? Will it make any difference?

        Do you really think you have any credibility at all, or are you just parroting the usual Warmist dogmatic nonsense, without a shred of fact in support?

        A fact or two would be appreciated. Otherwise, you may well find yourself regarded as just another Warmist loony. Facts are facts, fantasy is Warmism. Which do you support?

        Cheers.

      • They’re marching on without you.

      • Pierre-Normand Houle: Aren’t you assuming that things have settled into a steady state?

        no.

      • Chris Colose explained to me at RealClimate that he prefers to do the energy balance calculation at the top of the atmosphere, where no crops or forests grow, and where humans are not affected by sea level rise or cyclonic storms. But what about the surface where the biological action is?

        Considering a sphere around the earth-atmosphere-ocean system at the hypothetical TOA allows one to consider the net energy exchange which at that level is only radiative. So RF there implies the change in heat content.

        But you are right to wonder how that might be expressed. It’s conceivable that the additional energy warms only a particular layer of the atmosphere, not the surface. A factor that works against that though is, is that most of the mass of the atmosphere is within the troposphere ( ~ 85% ) which true to its name is well mixed, so warming at a given layer gets shared with the rest of the troposphere by turbulence and mixing.

        When I calculated RF for a given atmosphere, I found this variation of RF with height:

        So, there’s not much difference between TOA and tropopause. But there is a great deal of difference between the TOA and surface, especially in the Tropics.

        But then, also compare the amount of forcing for the lower half of troposphere compared with the upper half:

        Most of the forcing from additional CO2 occurs in the lower half of the troposphere and the upper half doesn’t get forced much at all. That’s consistent with the lack of a Hot Spot and increasing lapse rate. But it contradicts our conception of static stability.

      • MRM: all of the published calculations pertain to thousand of kilometers away from the surface.

        oops, thousands of meters.

      • Mathew Marler, did you know that the lapse rate is constrained by physics and also accounts for latent heat release? Having a constrained lapse rate ties surface temperature changes very tightly to full atmospheric changes and how it radiates at the top. This is how forcing changes can be related to surface changes.

      • Pierre-Normand Houle: I not encountered before the concept of TOA temperature. I am unsure what you mean.

        OK I thought that you meant it the way people use the Effective Radiant Altitude, whose temperature change is calculated in order to arrive at an estimate of how much the temp increase has to be in order to increase the net radiation of energy to space. I apologize.

        Back to basics (simplified): if the atmospheric CO2 concentration increases, TOA radiative efflux will decline, and something will warm up until the balance is restored (ignoring for now the increased outbound radiation from the stratosphere). People speak of the Earth surface warming until the radiative balance is restored, but the Earth surface transfers energy to the upper troposphere via 3 processes, only one of which is radiative. So restoring the radiative balance at TOA requires less temperature increase than you arrive at by ignoring the non-radiative transfer.

        Now back to my question: Given what we know about the surface as it is now (and simplifying by using mean temperature), and the transfer process that cool the Earth surface summarized by Stephens et al and Trenberth et al,, how much do the rates of those process increase per 1C surface temperature increase?

        Since 1880, the Earth surface mean temperature has increased by about 1C, and CO2 concentration has increased from 280 ppm to 400 ppm, corresponding to an increase in DWLWIR of about 1.4 W/m^2. Is that enough power increase to have powered the measured warming in light of all 3 transfer processes estimated by Stephens et al and Trenberth et al.

        I think the answer is “No”, but more importantly I think the answer can only be found by considering all three processes.

      • Jim D: Mathew Marler, did you know that the lapse rate is constrained by physics and also accounts for latent heat release?

        You do not understand the dynamics. That might be true of the mythical “equilibrium”, for which “equilibrium” there are no temperature inversions or mass and heat flows. You write of an atmosphere in which vultures and gliders can not ride the thermals, clouds never form, and rain never falls.

      • Turbulent Eddie: A factor that works against that though is, is that most of the mass of the atmosphere is within the troposphere ( ~ 85% ) which true to its name is well mixed, so warming at a given layer gets shared with the rest of the troposphere by turbulence and mixing.

        To follow that line of thought, the mixing takes time and is never complete, because each parcel of surface experiences day and night more quickly than they can equilibrate. The turbulence and mixing are powered by the temperature difference between surface and atmosphere, and are consequences of (or parts of), the flows estimated by Stephens et al and Trenberth et al.

        Somethings have to warm up in order to restore TOA radiative flux after an increase in CO2 (ignoring the stratosphere for now, because of its low total mass). But the things do not have to undergo the same temperature increase, nor are they modeled to do so in most simulations. In order to restore TOA radiative flux, the surface, I conjecture, can warm much less than the upper troposphere, which cools only by radiation. A bound on surface warming caused by doubling CO2 concentration might be found through study of the surface energy fluxes, as I did here one time (the paper is available on my ResearchGate page.)

      • mattstat, “That reminds me of a question I ask now and then. If the Earth surface warms 1C (or, as the Earth surface has warmed 1C), what is the increase in the rate at which the Earth surface transfers energy to the troposphere and higher?”

        Kimoto has a paper that provides a simple way to estimate that but thanks to so much uncertainty in the value of the energy fluxes at the “surface” it isn’t all that useful. The uncertainty in latent is larger than the impact. Since the atmosphere absorbs nearly as much as the latent total and that would change with atmospheric moisture content and cloud response, you probably need TOA imbalance to estimate ocean heat uptake for a gut check.

        Roughly though, 0.8 C of temperature increase would cause about 6.6 Wm-2 of increased flux that would correspond to about 3.7 Wm-2 of atmospheric “forcing” or “response” depending on what caused what IIRC using Stephens et al..

        https://www.researchgate.net/publication/242279491_On_the_Confusion_of_Planck_Feedback_Parameters

      • Mike The Earth has cooled for four and a half billion years Flynn –

        Oh yeah? Well the Universe has been cooling for thirteen billion years – nothing can heat up!

        matthewrmarler – You write of an atmosphere in which vultures and gliders can not ride the thermals, clouds never form, and rain never falls.

        Be careful Matthew – it’s those thermals and clouds that maintain the physically constrained lapse rate…

      • Pat Cassen: Be careful Matthew – it’s those thermals and clouds that maintain the physically constrained lapse rate…

        Fair enough. The physical lapse rate is always changing — I was going to write “in flux”. The calculations such as Claussius-Clapeyron assume that an equilibrium has been attained. “The physics” constrains the actual lapse rate, and its variations, but “the physics” generally does not allow computations of results; “the simplified physics” of lapse rate does not address the changes in the surface energy fluxes with temperature.

      • CaptDallas2 0.8+/-: Kimoto has a paper that provides a simple way to estimate that but thanks to so much uncertainty in the value of the energy fluxes at the “surface” it isn’t all that useful.

        Thank you for the link.

        My short paper makes some passing references to the sizes of the uncertainties in the calculation, noting only that they are pretty large.. But you have to start somewhere, and I hope that people are following up his paper as well as mine.

      • matthew dont waste your time with Kimoto

        1. EE
        2. http://rankexploits.com/musings/tag/kimoto/

      • Steven Mosher: matthew dont waste your time with Kimoto

        It is not the person that interests me, but the argument and evidence.

      • matt,

        Roughly though, 0.8 C of temperature increase would cause about 6.6 Wm-2 of increased flux

        Isn’t this obviously wrong? If we assume a base temperature of 288K, then a 1K increase in temperature would produce a maximum increase in surface flux of sigma(289^4 – 288^4) which is 5.45W/m^2. How can a 0.8C temperature increase then possibly cause 6.6W/m^2 of increased flux.

        Pat Cassen,
        Can I ask if this paper is one of yours?

      • Mosher, “matthew dont waste your time with Kimoto”

        That is pretty funny, Lucia’s main thing was the approximation dT=4dF which is of course not exact, but the paper is intended to illustrate the confusion on the Planck feedback parameter. :)

      • ATTP, “How can a 0.8C temperature increase then possibly cause 6.6W/m^2 of increased flux.”

        If you have an ideal black body at the point of measurement you have an equal amount of energy up and down so a perfect black body reference layer in equilibrium would have twice the energy you can measure. Since the atmosphere isn’t a perfect black body, the surface amplification would be less than 2 times forcing. Basically, adding 4 Wm-2 of forcing would create just a bit less than 4 Wm-2 of additional DWLR.

      • “It is not the person that interests me, but the argument and evidence.”

        dont waste your time with his argument.

        you can go read all you need to read at Lucia’s

        http://rankexploits.com/musings/2011/monckton-in-your-own-words-explain-this/

        and then here where the author shows up

        http://rankexploits.com/musings/2011/ipcc%E2%80%99s-overestimation-of-climate-sensitivity-kimoto/

        basically matthew if you want help understanding I suggest you go to Lucia’s

        or stop reading EE.

      • Capt,
        I don’t think that addresses my point at all. If the maximum increase in surface flux is 5.45W/m^2 per K, how can an increase of 0.8K produce an increase in flux of 6.6W/m^2?

      • attp, “Capt,
        I don’t think that addresses my point at all. If the maximum increase in surface flux is 5.45W/m^2 per K, how can an increase of 0.8K produce an increase in flux of 6.6W/m^2?”

        It is a frame of reference issue. If there were a real “effective radiant layer” which is the equivalent of the slit in a black body cavity, adding 5.46 Wm-2per K would produce 5.46 Wm-2 per K of increase. However, the real surface is transferring via radiant, sensible and latent to a relatively thick radiant layer so all of the energy isn’t felt at a simple, ideal, infinitely thin and perfectly absorbing/reflecting surface. If you use gross energy flux like the energy budgets instead of net, you have to consider the actual forcing plus the DWLR produced in response of the forcing.

        It is much simpler to use a TOA reference or a sub surface reference to avoid the extra accounting and confusion which is really the point of Kimoto’s paper.

      • MM, the lapse rate is maintained by convection. You warm the surface by 1 C and thermodynamics dictates the profile’s change, which in turn dictates the radiative change at the top. It is a simple chain of reasoning that goes back to Arrhenius. First, you have to understand this much before you want to modify it in some way.

      • and Then There’s Physics: Isn’t this obviously wrong? If we assume a base temperature of 288K, then a 1K increase in temperature would produce a maximum increase in surface flux of sigma(289^4 – 288^4) which is 5.45W/m^2. How can a 0.8C temperature increase then possibly cause 6.6W/m^2 of increased flux.

        It is not obviously wrong. You are ignoring the change in the non-radiative flux. It is a common error that I am claiming is in fact an error.

      • Capt,
        I thought we were discussing the Planck response? If we are, then an increase in 0.8K surely cannot produce an increase in flux of 6.6W/m^2, which is all I was getting at.

        On the other hand, if we’re actually discussing Kimoto’s overall argument, then I might suggest that you read Arthur Smith’s comment on Lucia’s post. They pretty much point out the major flaws in Kimoto’s analysis. Bottom line: you can’t define something differently to how it’s been defined by others and then claim that they’re wrong because what you get is different.

      • Jim D: It is a simple chain of reasoning that goes back to Arrhenius.

        It is simple and it is inadequate to the task of calculating the flux changes at the surface.

        Perhaps you would like to calculate the changes in the advective/convective and evapotranspirative energy fluxes? That would supplement aTTP’s radiative flux change calculation.

      • matthewrmarler wrote: “People speak of the Earth surface warming until the radiative balance is restored, but the Earth surface transfers energy to the upper troposphere via 3 processes, only one of which is radiative. So restoring the radiative balance at TOA requires less temperature increase than you arrive at by ignoring the non-radiative transfer.”

        When the GHG forcing is initially increased, and the stratosphere has adjusted to a lower temperature (but the surface and troposphere haven’t adjusted yet) the effective emission height is increased and hence the TOA outbound (gross) flux is reduced. It doesn’t cancel the Solar input anymore. The subsequent warming of the surface and atmosphere together contribute to restoring the TOA balance. What I call “steady state” just refers to the eventual surface temperature and atmospheric temperature profile (and the resulting fluxes) that are achieved after the TOA balance has been restored. The final temperature profile, from the surface up to the tropopause, is dominated by convection. And hence the variation in the longwave flux (either net or gross) between the surface and the troposphere isn’t relevant to the determination of the final temperature profile because the convective processes that establish the lapse rate largely dominate the radiative fluxes in the troposphere. The variation in latent heat fluxes is relevant, though, but only inasmuch as it is responsible for the negative lapse rate feedback (and, of course, is relevant to the cloud feedback).

      • and Then There’s Physics: I thought we were discussing the Planck response?

        I began with a question about the rate changes of 3 processes at the surface: advective/convective, evapotranspirative, and radiative transfer of energy from the surface. All of them increase as temperature increases, but by how much?. You narrowed the focus to radiation.

      • It is not obviously wrong. You are ignoring the change in the non-radiative flux. It is a common error that I am claiming is in fact an error.

        Ahh, I thought you were referring to the Planck response only. Okay, but even so, how do you get 6.6W/m^2 from a temperature increase of 0.8K? I have to go out, but I suggest you read Arthur Smith’s comment. I think it pretty much explains the error in Kimoto’s analysis.

      • Perhaps you understand that a warmer surface does lead to more water vapor in the air which counters the TOA warming effect because it is also a greenhouse gas. The extra water vapor leads to a positive feedback, because now with this extra GHG in the air, the warming has to be even greater than it would have without it to finally rebalance the radiation at the top of the atmosphere. So, yes, there is more water vapor, but it doesn’t help, but rather hinders the response.

      • attp, “Capt,
        I thought we were discussing the Planck response? If we are, then an increase in 0.8K surely cannot produce an increase in flux of 6.6W/m^2, which is all I was getting at.”

        Planck response in an ideal situation is increase T and F increases by T^4, However with a less than ideal surface increase T and F increases Sensible/convective increases and latent increases. Both sensible and latent tend to “cool” the surface while warming another surface in the atmosphere. How much the “average” surface energy increases depends on how efficient the atmosphere is at retaining heat. The atmosphere isn’t all that efficient.

        If it wasn’t for convection and latent, the problem would be a slam dunk and everyone could go about their business, but Climate science has set a convention where all of the individual flux changes in all direction have to be considered.

        Since you want to send me back to a discussion I participated in think of this question, if you increase the temperature of a pot of water by one degree how much more energy would flow out of the top? Depends on the temperature don’t it?

      • I have no idea why you would think this

        Since you want to send me back to a discussion I participated in

      • Pierre-Normand Houle:The variation in latent heat fluxes is relevant, though, but only inasmuch as it is responsible for the negative lapse rate feedback (and, of course, is relevant to the cloud feedback).

        I understand that, and don’t dispute it, except for the claim that latent heat flux has such a narrow relevance. Here is my question again: How do the rates of the energy transport from the surface (advective/convective, evapotranspirative, and radiative) change as the Earth surface temperature increases?

        Evidently, everyone except CaptDallas, Kimura, and me wants to ignore outright two of the processes.

      • attp, “Since you want to send me back to a discussion I participated in.”

        Right, try to stay focused. The confusion on the Planck response is that it is purely a radiative response and the surface isn’t purely radiative. A simple way to estimate the Planck response is dT approximately equal to 4dF for illustration so you don’t have to carry 5.67e-8(T^4) while you are making an illustration. If you are trying to estimate the Planck response at a surface that also has a latent heat flux in a pseudo-steady state you can use the fungible nature of energy to estimate the increases in the individual flux quantities for a given change in temperature. It isn’t rocket science. So if you say the “surface” increased by 1 degree the actual energy flow from the surface would increase by more than whatever value you think would produce a 1 degree increase in an ideal black body.

        Mattstat’s question was roughly how much “ALL” energy flux values would increase, not whatever obscure notion you and Mosher might have been entertaining :)

      • “Here is my question again: How do the rates of the energy transport from the surface (advective/convective, evapotranspirative, and radiative) change as the Earth surface temperature increases?

        Evidently, everyone except CaptDallas, Kimura, and me wants to ignore outright two of the processes.”

        I don’t want you to ignore those processes. On the contrary, their indirect effects on the large positive water vapor feedback, and the relatively smaller negative lapse rate feedback, are acknowledged. But you also seem to believe that those fluxes are directly relevant to the magnitude of the Planck response, and the restoration of the TOA balance, such that less surface warming would be required than commonly expected as a response to an increase in GHG forcing. But fluxes between the surface and troposphere contribute nothing at all to the restoration of the TOA balance, except inasmuch as they influence the vertical temperature profile (which is acknowledged). But you don’t give any indication as to why you believe variations in those internal fluxes would have any effect, other than those already acknowledged, on the TOA balance.

      • Capt,

        Right, try to stay focused.

        Just to be clear, the only thing I was confused about was why you possibly thought I wanted you to do anything. Thanks anyway. However, given that about 80% of the surface flux is radiative and has a maximum of 5.45W/m^2/K, my question was essentially how 0.8K could lead to an increase of 6.6W/m^2, which I assumed was TOA. Having looked at Kimoto’s analysis and read Arthur Smith’s response, it’s fairly clear what the problem is. He’s considering only the increase in outgoing surface flux and ignoring that, in the standard definition of the Planck response, you also have to take into account that the atmosphere also warms which increases the downwelling flux.

      • Pierre-Normand Houle: But you don’t give any indication as to why you believe variations in those internal fluxes would have any effect, other than those already acknowledged, on the TOA balance.

        I think they put a constraint on temperature increase at the surface that might result from an increase in DWLWIR. If a 0.25C increase in surface temp produces a net (or summed) increase in all 3 processes equal to 4W/m^2, then 0.25C is the maximum surface mean temperature increase that can result from an increase of 4W/m^2 of DWLWIR. I don’t know that the best estimate is 0.25C per doubling of CO2 concentration, but I do think it is a closer estimate than 1C per doubling.

      • and Then There’s Physics: you also have to take into account that the atmosphere also warms which increases the downwelling flux.

        In my second draft, which I posted here, at WUWT, and at RealClimate (iirc), I took a stab at that as well.

        If the sum of the increases of the 3 upward processes is 4W/m^2, how much is the resultant increase in DWLWIR? 1 W/m^2? 2 W/m^2? 4 W/m^2 is beyond belief, I think.

      • Matt,

        If a 0.25C increase in surface temp produces a net (or summed) increase in all 3 processes equal to 4W/m^2, then 0.25C is the maximum surface mean temperature increase that can result from an increase of 4W/m^2 of DWLWIR.

        I think you’re making the same mistake that Kimoto made (did you read Arthur Smith’s comment). The DWLWIR is not independent of the other 3 processes. If there is an increase in surface temperature then it increase the surface radiative flux, the thermal conduction, evaporation AND the DWLWIR. Hence, to estimate the Planck response you need to also include that the atmosphere would warm, increasing the DWLWIR. The reason that Kimoto gets around 6.6W/m^2/K is because they ignore this in their estimate.

      • If the sum of the increases of the 3 upward processes is 4W/m^2, how much is the resultant increase in DWLWIR? 1 W/m^2? 2 W/m^2? 4 W/m^2 is beyond belief, I think.

        If you consider the Trenberth energy budget diagram, then a reasonable estimate would be that the ratio would be about 324/(390 + 24 + 78) = 0.66. So a 4W/m^2 increase in outgoing surface flux would be associated with about a 2.6W/m^2 increase in DWLWIR.

      • attp, Right, Arthur believes Kimoto is leaving out warming of the atmosphere, but he is scaling Fb the feedback for based on the estimated warmth of the atmosphere. For a small change, you don’t need to consider the warming of the atmosphere from since the radiant level of the atmosphere only increases in height by ~100 meters and the majority of the warming that would be felt at the surface is the slight increase in dew point temperature.

        Now if you shift your frame of reference to the atmospheric boundary layer, the amount of warming for the majority of the surface with moist air, the temperature increase would be equal to the increase in dew point temperature.

        Now if you want to get a larger temperature increase you could increase the mass of the atmosphere to simulate a pressure cooker, but for a small change Kimoto’s approximation simply illustrates you cannot get an ideal as in maximum response to doubling CO2.

        Note also that Kimoto used the Kiehl and Trenberth budget numbers that over estimate the radiant window from the “surface”.

      • ATTP wrote: “I think you’re making the same mistake that Kimoto made (did you read Arthur Smith’s comment). The DWLWIR is not independent of the other 3 processes. If there is an increase in surface temperature then it increase the surface radiative flux, the thermal conduction, evaporation AND the DWLWIR.”

        That’s right. What Matthew also seems to be overlooking is that what determines the amount of surface warming that will occur isn’t just the initial increase in DWLWIR caused by the enhanced forcing (such that surface warming would only need to cancel this). Rather, the surface will warm as long as the climate system still is accumulating energy, and this process will go on as long as the TOA balance hasn’t been restored by the warming that occurs at all levels (surface+atmosphere), under strong lapse rate constraints.

      • and Then There’s Physics: So a 4W/m^2 increase in outgoing surface flux would be associated with about a 2.6W/m^2 increase in DWLWIR.

        i got a similar amount with a similar line of reasoning. It was not my only approach.

      • Pierre-Normand Houle:Rather, the surface will warm as long as the climate system still is accumulating energy, and this process will go on as long as the TOA balance hasn’t been restored by the warming that occurs at all levels (surface+atmosphere), under strong lapse rate constraints.

        What have I written that might possibly disagree with that?

        The surface and the troposphere do not increase temperature by the same amount. How much does the surface temperature increase? At that temperature increase, how much does the rate of energy transfer from the surface increase?

        What are the “strong lapse rate constraints” during the buildup of thunderclouds and the subsequent rainstorm? Much of the non-radiative transfer of energy from the surface to the troposphere takes place in conditions like that for which the lapse rate is least known.

      • In case anyone is willing to consider another hypothetical: suppose the true but unknown relation is that 1C of mean surface warming will produce an increase in the surface upward energy transfer rate of 12W/m^2. As I wrote, I think that is “unknown”, not “counterfactual”. The hypothesized (derived from an analysis based on hypotheses) increase in DWLWIR caused by an increase in CO2 concentration from 280ppm to 400ppm is about 1.4W/m^2. Could the increase in DWLWIR have powered that much increase in upward rate of energy transfer?

        I think that the question is worth study.

      • The lapse rate is the result of all those thunderstorms. It is governed by the thermodynamics of convective transports. In turn the lapse rate defines the temperature profile, and the radiation out of the TOA. Thunderstorms are just the agents that cause the lapse rate, and can’t be separated from it. (Pat Cassen already said something like this to you above).

      • It is unanswerable until you say how much of that 12 W/m2 is also radiated out of the TOA, and how that is achieved.

      • MM, earlier you said “Anthropogenic CO2 might have increased downwelling LWIR power by 1.5 W/m^2. With energy transfer rates from the surface as described in the peer-reviewed literature, that isn’t enough power to have raised the surface temperature by the amount observed since 1880.”
        It is not quite like that. The CO2 has reduced the outgoing radiation at TOA by 1.5 W/m2, so there will be a net energy accumulation until the atmosphere can warm enough to restore the balance. If it is just a black-body effect, 0.5 C of warming through the atmosphere and surface would suffice, but actually we have already had 1 C, so what happened? The answer is that the first 0.5 C also added water vapor which offsets some of its effect, and more warming was needed. The water vapor positive feedback essentially doubled the response through the atmosphere which includes the surface. This is why the surface has warmed about twice the no-feedback rate, equivalent to about 2 C per CO2 doubling.

      • matthewrmarler wrote: “The surface and the troposphere do not increase temperature by the same amount. How much does the surface temperature increase? At that temperature increase, how much does the rate of energy transfer from the surface increase?”

        Those two questions are unrelated. You seem to be drawing the inference that if the rate of net energy transfer (“net” to account for the downwelling increase) from surface to atmosphere increases, therefore the atmosphere must warm more in relation to the surface. That’s a non sequitur since the rate of emission from the atmosphere to space also increases.

      • Pierre – Normand Houle: You seem to be drawing the inference that if the rate of net energy transfer (“net” to account for the downwelling increase) from surface to atmosphere increases, therefore the atmosphere must warm more in relation to the surface.

        That the troposphere will warm more that the surface is a common proposition. You can read about it here:

        http://www.gfdl.noaa.gov/blog/isaac-held/2015/01/20/55-tropical-tropospheric-warming-revisited-part-2/

        Since transfer from surface to troposphere is via 3 mechanisms, but transfer from troposphere to space is almost all radiative, it makes sense that the temperature rise of the troposphere is greater than the temperature rise of the surface, when they balance; but I am not the one to draw the inference first.

      • MM, that is the lapse rate feedback that was mentioned a while back. The effect is due to the amount of water vapor increasing nonlinearly with temperature, and is more noticeable in the tropics precisely because that is where there is a lot more water vapor.

      • Jim D: The answer is that the first 0.5 C also added water vapor which offsets some of its effect, and more warming was needed.

        That is indeed the claim. Some theorists have increased the water vapor content, but but increased neither the advectiive/convective heat transfer rate, nor the evapotranspirative rate. Romps et al estimated an increase in the rate represented by CAPE*PR, thus pioneering (I think) studies of the rate of change of surface fluxes. But GCMs may have been there first (cited by Romps et al) as they produce estimates of rainfall increase everaging about 3% per degree.

        The lapse rate is the result of all those thunderstorms.

        No denial of that from me. All I said is that the lapse rates (one inside the column, one outside the column) are not accurately known in those circumstances. CAPE is (proportional to) the integral of the inside/outside temperature difference, from bottom to top of the column, but it can not be accurately approximated when there is turbulence..

      • With a one-degree change, the lapse rate changes hardly at all. Physics stays pretty much the same under those conditions. The positive water vapor feedback dominates the negative lapse rate feedback, as shown by the 2 C per doubling we are experiencing.

      • Jim D: The effect is due to the amount of water vapor increasing nonlinearly with temperature,

        There you go again, water vapor without thermals or rainfall. You have no non-radiative transfer of energy from surface to troposphere, and no increase in the rate of that transfer.

        I’ll have to let you have the last word, if you choose to respond. You do not understand.

      • Water vapor is an important greenhouse gas. The greenhouse effect is the main one responsible for the surface temperature being what it is. Increases in H2O become comparable with the effects of the driving CO2 increase simply because Clausius-Clapeyron adds comparable numbers of extra H2O molecules when you increase the CO2 molecules, so their amplifying effect is no surprise.

      • Jim D wrote: “MM, that is the lapse rate feedback that was mentioned a while back.”

        Exactly. I was asking Matthew if he had some effect in mind besides the effect already acknowledged as the lapse rate feedback. And his answer is to point to the lapse rate feedback. Maybe Matthew believes this feedback to be larger than it is currently understood to be, but he hasn’t provided a reason for thinking so, so far as I am aware.

      • matthewrmarler wrote: “You have no non-radiative transfer of energy from surface to troposphere, and no increase in the rate of that transfer.”

        Nobody is saying that there are no variations in the fluxes that are internal to the climate system (convective, sensible, latent and longwave). However, those variations, unlike the variations in forcing, or the requirement for the TOA energy balance at equilibrium, aren’t independent variables, or boundary conditions, of the dynamic system. They adjust themselves mutually in order to satisfy those independent constraints. One consequence of those internal adjustments is the negative lapse rate feedback. Another one is the significantly larger water vapor feedback. The variations in internal fluxes hardly are ignored since they must occur in concert with the occurrence of those feedbacks.

      • “…dynamic system…” dynamical system… (In French we say “système dynamique”)

      • Pierre-Normand Houle: The variations in internal fluxes hardly are ignored since they must occur in concert with the occurrence of those feedbacks.

        That is all well and good, but I think that quantitative estimates of the flux rate changes at the surface would be informative. In the end it will be found that all of the flows balance and that the laws of thermodynamics are satisfied. I expect the details to be interesting, and what I call “informative”.

      • “That is all well and good, but I think that quantitative estimates of the flux rate changes at the surface would be informative.”

        In order that the data be informative you must grasp the underlying physics. Else, you misinterpret the data and get puzzled for no reason, as seemed to occur in the first post in this sub-thread where you were referring to Chris Colose. (It didn’t seem to you then that all was “well and good”). One good place to start regarding the surface fluxes, and the consequences of the enhancement of the hydrological cycle, from a dynamical system perspective, is Ramanathan’s paper Trace Gas Greenhouse Effect and Global Warming; Underlying Principles and Outstanding Issues, Ambio, 1998. This is easily found online for free. It is the paper that got me started on the issue, together with a couple articles by Pierrehumbert on RC.

      • Pierre, “That’s right. What Matthew also seems to be overlooking is that what determines the amount of surface warming that will occur isn’t just the initial increase in DWLWIR caused by the enhanced forcing (such that surface warming would only need to cancel this). Rather, the surface will warm as long as the climate system still is accumulating energy, and this process will go on as long as the TOA balance hasn’t been restored by the warming that occurs at all levels (surface+atmosphere), under strong lapse rate constraints.”

        Any simple example will overlook plenty of stuff in a complex system, but you need a starting point. However, there should be dozens of simple approaches that lead to common range of solutions. For example, Kimoto’s paper lead to a huge discussion and along the line, the basis of Kimoto’s paper, the Kiehl and Trenberth energy budget was replaced with the Stephen’s et al. energy budget which shows the huge range of uncertainty near the surface where Mattstat is concerned. Perhaps saying you don’t understand the question or “I don’t know” might be a good option.

      • Captdallas, the Kiehl and Trenberth energy budget is a cartoon. It’s a pedagogical, conceptual, tool. Is is perfectly fine as it stands in exactly this capacity. Just because a physical problem can be approached or approximated in a variety of ways doesn’t entail that contradictory results, conceptual confusions or crude calculation mistakes can be allowed to stand.

      • Pierre, ” Just because a physical problem can be approached or approximated in a variety of ways doesn’t entail that contradictory results, conceptual confusions or crude calculation mistakes can be allowed to stand.”

        The surface that mattstat is questioning and the energy budgets represent is the most chaotic portion of the atmosphere. There is no option but crude and depending on your choice of frame of reference you should expect potential contradictions. This is why just about every simple model is limited to a small change. What the estimates of energy budgets do whether they are in cartoon form or state of the art full animation do is help determine the initial conditions.

      • With a one-degree change, the lapse rate changes hardly at all.

        No.

        Lapse rates ( there’s not a single lapse rate ) were modeled to have changed dramatically and that change is supposed to be continuing.

        But it hasn’t and it isn’t:

        Now, that’s the past – the future could be different.
        Could also be that cooling ocean ( E. Pac. & S. ) is stopping the HS.
        Or, it could be that since climate models can’t model weather ( the cold fronts that cause thunderstorms, or the thunderstorms ) then they are just very expensive Rorschach Tests ( i.e. error generators ).

        Time may tell. Or it may not.

        If the Hot Spot did occur in the future, it would make the atmosphere more effective at emitting to space, which would reduce the warming at the surface ( that’s the lapse rate feedack ).

        In any case, it does go to Matthew’s questions – how do RF and temperature response correspond. It doesn’t appear to be as modeled or straight forward.

      • Pierre-Normand Houle: This is easily found online for free. It is the paper that got me started on the issue, together with a couple articles by Pierrehumbert on RC.

        I have from time to time listed some of my readings, such as Pierrehumbert’s book “Principles of Planetary Climate”, Randall’s simpler “Atmosphere, Clouds, and Climate”, Ambaum’s “Thermal Physics of the Atmosphere”, Kondepudi and Prigogine’s “Modern Thermodynamics” (often with special reference to the short introduction to nonlinear dynamical systems”, Isaac Held’s blog, Dijkstra’s “Nonlinear Climate Dynamics” and lots of papers, such as Romps et al in Science and its supporting online material. Whenever I point out that something is not known, or ask a question that no one can answer, someone like you comes along and explains to me lots of stuff that I already know (or someone with oversimplifications that are stark in their ignorance, like Jim D).

        In this case, how do the energy fluxes at the surface change as the surface temperature increases? You do not know, Jim D does not know, Chris Colose does not know. If someone knows, I would like to learn. If you had the least self-awareness you’d admit that no one knows the answer.

        As to your claim that the surface and troposphere temperature increases are equal, if you can show that then you can publish it, but you might want to run it by Isaac Held and others first, because they all have the troposphere warming more than the surface in response to CO2 accumulation in the troposphere.

        Another question no one knows the answer to is this: in the open ocean where water is vaporizing all day long, what actually would happen on the surface if the downwelling LWIR increased by 4 W/m^2? Bearing in mind that 2/3 of the Earth surface is water outside the polar regions, isn’t this something you would want to know in order to know what the global effects of doubling the CO2 concentration would be? Instead of solid empirical research (again, I am open to reading suggestions), there are assumptions, and unsupportable claims that the answer can be provided by studying top of the atmosphere fluxes and the laws of thermodynamics. Of course the answers will satisfy the laws of thermodynamics and other physics (such as the latent heat of vaporization and the change in water vapor pressure with temperature), but right now what actually would happen (or has happened since 1880) is not known.

      • MRM (often with special reference to the short introduction to nonlinear dynamical systems”

        oops. It should be: (often with special reference to the short introduction to nonlinear dynamical systems)

    • stevenreincarnated

      Jim, that’s incredibly good news. So this will be the year when the Democrats stand tall and proudly tell the voters they want to place new taxes on energy and make all the coal miners unemployed, right?

      • Most people are already saying reduce emissions, and just want a government that believes the same way that they do on that subject.

      • stevenreincarnated

        You sidestepped the question, Jim. It’s one thing to say you want a reduction in emissions. It’s quite another to say you want to pay more for energy and look for a new job. Maybe they can Gruber the public again?

      • Most people spend only 5% of their income on energy. It is not going to push anyone over the poverty line even in the doubtful case that prices rise due to any reason other than fossil fuel depletion.

      • stevenreincarnated

        So they will proudly stand up and be honest about what they want this time?

      • Obama was never shy of it. He knows that a few screaming fossil-fueled curmudgeons in opposition don’t impress the majority of the public.

      • stevenreincarnated

        He had the house and the senate and did nothing. Now he is sneaking it in through the EPA. Must be a lot of support out there.

      • Health care and the recession were the immediate needs. He also had some coal-state Democrats who were not so keen. The money runs deep in politics.

      • stevenreincarnated

        Yes, I remember healthcare and Gruber! You hoping for a repeat of the taking advantage of low information voters? Or do you think they could get what they want telling the truth this time? Oops, a gaff?

      • Which truths matter to you? Climate change, healthcare still not covering everyone, minimum wage below poverty level, money buying politicians or political advantage, lower income taxes for rich people than for the middle class, high education costs. Some politicians care about these things. Others don’t.

      • stevenreincarnated

        Jim, I like truth in general. I don’t select which truths can be avoided for the good of the public as I see it. People may not agree with me if they aren’t lied to. Nice to see you admit that you believe in selective truth telling though.

      • I certainly choose my politicians based on which truths I hold most important. You can look at Republican debates for their versions of the truth, and you can choose to like those too.

      • stevenreincarnated

        A version of the truth? If you tell people something you know to be a lie that isn’t a version of the truth. That is lying. Do you think lying to the public in order to reduce emissions is ok?

      • Curious George

        Politics and truth don’t mix.

      • steven, you can say all the scientists are lying about attribution, and that says something about you too.

      • stevenreincarnated

        Jim, I could but I haven’t now have I? You could eat donkey doo and that would say something about you, but as far as I know you haven’t.

      • steven, OK, if the scientists aren’t lying to the public about having to reduce emissions, who did you mean are? Is it the scientific societies or various scientific panels lying through their climate statements, or did you mean someone else entirely? You made a statement about someone lying but didn’t attribute it. Some clarity is needed.

      • stevenreincarnated

        Clarity Jim, your poll is worthless unless you ask people how much they are willing to pay to reduce emissions. We both know almost nothing so why do you keep showing meaningless polls?

      • stevenreincarnated

        By the way, Jim. It seems incredibly obvious to me I was talking about the political end of reducing emissions. I’m not sure how you could have gotten yourself confused. Perhaps you should relax on commenting and get some sleep?

      • You seem to be making some subtle distinction that the politicians who repeat the words of scientific societies and panels about reducing emissions are lying, but the scientists are not.

      • stevenreincarnated

        Really? And here I thought this sentence in my very first comment would have been a hint as to what I was talking about:

        So this will be the year when the Democrats stand tall and proudly tell the voters they want to place new taxes on energy and make all the coal miners unemployed, right?

      • They’ll say they want to reduce emissions, and the other party won’t, and that is all the distinction that is needed at this stage. It worked for Obama. The public stand mostly for reducing emissions versus not even trying. Hillary even said something about the coalminers, but I don’t think she needed to.

      • stevenreincarnated

        Yes, she did! How exciting, huh? It’s hilarious watching everyone trying to explain what she really meant lol.

      • You care about coalminers. She cares about coalminers. You have something in common. Welcome it.

      • stevenreincarnated

        Yeah Jim, we are like peas in a pod alright.

      • The coalmine owners would replace them with machines at the first opportunity too. They are not a jobs program, but a profit machine, so you need to make sure to resist that type of change too, right?

      • stevenreincarnated

        Why? You need people to run the machines. You aren’t completely destroying an industry in the middle of an economically depressed area. You don’t think the coal industry has modernized at all over the last 50 years? The point is you suck all the money out of the area. It isn’t just the coal miners that lose their jobs. But I know you guys have it all under control. You can just replace those good blue collar jobs by forcing the minimum wage up to $15 an hour and they can all become burger flippers because what our country needs is more burgers.

      • steven, OK, so you seem to agree with Hillary that the coalminers will need retraining to continue to have jobs, and perhaps you even agree that the government should support that retraining, or perhaps not. Defunct jobs should not be just carried forwards for old times sake. I bet horseless carriages put a lot of specialized people out of work too. Coal mining is like that, a thing of the past in advanced countries at least.

      • stevenreincarnated

        Jim, retraining from a job they never should have lost in the first place into an industry that goes bankrupt as soon as the government funding runs out. Good plan. I think the burger flipping one was better though.

      • You want them to be retrained as burger-flippers? I am not sure I follow. How about something useful?

      • stevenreincarnated

        Well Hillary wants to train them in on renewable energy. At least a burger flipper has a chance of still having a job in 6 months.

      • @stevenreincarnated: So this will be the year when the Democrats stand tall and proudly tell the voters they want to place new taxes on energy and make all the coal miners unemployed, right?

        Given that the Republicans in management (as distinct from those in Washington) have already accomplished this by switching energy companies from coal to wind and solar, the Democrats would look pretty silly making such promises.

        Currently there are about 83,000 coal miners in the US, as opposed to more than 220,000 in the solar and wind industries. One of those numbers is currently decreasing and the other increasing. If you can’t guess which is which, peak at this article for a hint.

        Consider agitating for a cause more likely to succeed than increasing coal miner employment.

      • Vaughan

        I hold no brief for coal other than I want access to secure and reliable power sources which fossil fuel can supply.

        However I think solar jobs need to be taken with a pinch of salt. We have had a 50 acre solar farm landed near us in beautiful previously unspoilt countryside and it employs no one at all. It is heavily subsidised and the profits go to some London based celebrity investors. I think many solar jobs are involved in the marketing of them-they are being sold like double glazing.

        tonyb

      • I think many solar jobs are involved in the marketing of them

        Even if that were true of all 220,000 of those jobs, why would mining coal be preferable to a white-collar marketing job? Is marketing somehow less honorable, or lower status, or pays less, or is more hazardous to one’s health, or offers less job security, or what?

      • We have had a 50 acre solar farm landed near us in beautiful previously unspoilt countryside

        What a dilemma: a 50 acre solar farm vs. a 50 acre coal mine in beautiful previously unspoilt countryside.

        One advantage of the solar farm might be that the coal is likely to run out before the sun does. But the neighbours might have other criteria besides sustainability.

      • stevenreincarnated

        VP, there are a lot fewer farmers than there used to be. Is food a thing of the past? Have any politicians made it their project to put the food industry out of business?

        The idea that solar will be efficient in the Appalachians when it can barely survive in California seems a bit like wishful thinking to me. Ask the neighbors if they want the coal companies to go under and stop projecting your California impressions of the coal industry on people that live with it on a daily basis. Those families have mined coal for generations and towns will die along with the coal companies. More welfare for the people in the Appalachians coming up. I’m sure the geniuses in charge will have the mountains all fixed up as well as they have the inner cities in no time.

      • Vaughan

        I looked at my calendar to see if it was ‘red herring’ day, but apparently its not. Perhaps it is in the States?

        This is not a coal mining area, its a tourist area.. Those who live in a coal mining region, and whose ancestors often had jobs in them for generations, would probably see little point in previously unspoilt countryside being sacrificed for a thimbleful of electricity.

        As for solar jobs, they mainly consist of tele sales people bothering people like me constantly and trying to get commission salesman to sell me something I don’t want, just like double glazing. So high quality and high status jobs? I think not. I am not against renewables as you would have seen if you had posted your comment on the current thread about renewables.

        In the case of the UK however, we should be building wave/tidal energy installations. Solar power des not work at our latitude and is even more useless when most wanted, during our dull winters. Tacitus knew this 2000 years ago when he recognised the nature of our often dull climate.

        tonyb

      • climatereason,

        “Their sky is obscured by continual rain and cloud. Severity of cold is unknown. The days exceed in length those of our part of the world; the nights are bright, and in the extreme north so short that between sunlight and dawn you can perceive but a slight distinction.” – Tacitus or someone.

        Not a whole hell of a lot of global warming in Britain since the time of the Romans.

        Some of the old Roman ports seem to have retreated to the interior. Rising sea levels seem to have avoided Britain for a couple of thousand years, in places. Probably because America hadn’t been invented!

        America may claim to be the centre of the universe. Obviously, nobody has told the universe yet! The US might wake up one day. Or maybe not.

        Cheers.

      • Mike

        I am pleased to see that you are so familiar with the works of Tacitus (or someone)

        I wrote about Roman sea levels as they related to Britain, here

        https://judithcurry.com/2011/07/12/historic-variations-in-sea-levels-part-1-from-the-holocene-to-romans/

        It is impossible to see that levels have risen, indeed, they seem to have fallen when land change is taken into account.

        It seems to me that Tacitus (or someone) is not studied by the current crop of climate scientists. Can that be true?

        tonyb

      • climatereason,

        When your only tool is CO2, everything looks distinctly carbonic.

        Who needs Tacitus?

        There was a chap called Shakespeare, or Shakspere, or something, who wrote “There are more things in Heaven and Earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.'”.

        I am in agreement with his sentiment, (even though my name is not Horatio), so I will accept your contention that creatures named climate scientists exist. The word oxymoron, however, springs to mind.

        Only joking. Endless amusement, at little cost!

        Cheers.

    • Jim D,

      I notice you practice political science the same way you do climate science, where a single data point defines a trend, at least if that behooves your talking points.

    • Jim D,

      You wrote –

      “Americans finally realize we cause climate change. New poll.”

      Americans comprise roughly 5% of the world’s population. Who cares what Americans think, if 95% of the world’s population disagrees?

      The final arbiter is fact. Nature cares not about polls. Weather, and therefore climate, changes. Always has, and I venture to say, even predict, always will.

      The Earth has cooled for four and a half billion years. Good luck with stopping the cooling, and warming it up again. The magical power of CO2? Far more CO2 in the atmosphere in the past didn’t stop the cooling!

      Maybe if you pray, or dance in counter clockwise circles, a miracle might occur. On the other hand, maybe not.

      Cheers.

  35. Iceland’s glaciers go into full tilt retreat… caused by global warming. And, did you know global warming causes volcanic eruptions?

    The danger is that increased melting and uplift could lead to a further uptick in volcanic activity. Iceland has experienced three eruptions in the last five years. When Eyjafjallajökull blew in 2010, flights across Europe were disrupted for a week. ~theguardian

    The global warming socio-political establishment is propped up by such myths. “Climate has always changed and is always changing,” observed Daniel Botkin. “The last Ice Age, which covered places like what is now New York City with ice two miles deep ended between 17,000 and 12,500 years ago, with overall but highly variable warming since then.”

  36. There’s route between “is” and “ought” in the same way there’s no distance between France and Paris. Stanley Cavell

    The Claim of Reason teases it out, along the lines of Wittgenstein.

    I hope that long url worked. If not, google

    cavell “the claim of reason” “france to paris”

  37. “An Entire American Community Is Being Relocated Because of Sea Level Rise”

    The Mississippi delta stopped accreting and began its 180-year decline after the installation of a system of control structures designed by James Eads in 1875. These structures were specifically intended to concentrate the flow of the river so that the increased velocity would carry sediments into the Gulf of Mexico which had for centuries dispersed into the marshes and grasses of the delta, slowing, flocculating and falling out of suspension upon contact with salty sea water.

    Because of these structures, the river channel would maintain a 30-35 foot depth from New Orleans to the the Gulf, where previously had existed a dangerous and unreliable passage due to constant shoaling.

    Eads had no way of knowing that sea level would also rise from then until the present, maybe 8 inches in an almost perfectly linear fashion. So, yes, sea level rise has contributed to the demise of the Mississippi delta, but direct geo-engineering has made by far the larger contribution to changes in that area.

  38. Climate change redefines the US Department of Defense as the US Department of Deception!

  39. As Kim Cobb acquires enough scientific maturity to recognize that what she has experienced in her short professional lifetime is but a moment in the long Holocene history of multi-cyclical climate changes, she will stop being alarmed by recent record-level months, such as last February. Unless, of course, she remains captive to the science fiction of fashionable academic interpretations.

  40. From the article:

    Could you fall in love with this robot?

    http://www.cnbc.com/2016/03/16/could-you-fall-in-love-with-this-robot.html

  41. Creeping socialism from the Dimocreeps. From the article:

    “Where is my 1095-A? This is what it must be like dealing with a government agency in a third world country.”
    That was the lament on Twitter of just one poor citizen this week trying to get his tax records in order. Nationwide, hard-working Americans are struggling to meet the April 18 IRS filing deadline. Standing in the way: the bumbling Obamacare bureaucracy.
    In Minnesota, an estimated 18,000 people who were on health insurance plans last year offered through MNsure, the state Obamacare health insurance exchange, still haven’t received their 1095-A form. It’s the “health insurance marketplace statement” required to file accurate tax returns and claim the premium tax credit.
    Twin Cities officials blame “technical bugs” and promise they’ll be sending more of the documents out next week. But it’s small consolation to farmers in Minnesota who were required to file their taxes by March 1.
    “This is the second year in a row MNsure has been late sending my 1095-A form and it’s cost me extra money when I have to file for an extension on my tax filings,” farmer Robert Marg of Winona County, Minnesota, told his local TV station.

    http://michellemalkin.com/2016/03/16/obamacares-tax-time-torment/

  42. From the article:
    So now she’s going to be an expert in “climate change.” OK.

    When Garcetti needed an earthquake czar to confront long-ignored risks threatening Los Angeles, Jones seemed made for the job. In more than 130 meetings with property owners, utility agencies and business groups, she preached the risk of doing nothing — a city with no cellphone service, buildings reduced to rubble and an economy in shambles.

    Her tactics paid off. The city last year passed the most sweeping retrofitting laws in California history.

    Her work earned her a Samuel J. Heyman Service to America medal, often referred to as the Oscars of government service. The American Geophysical Union, the Southern California Earthquake Center and many others also praised her achievements in translating science into policy.

    Jones, who just turned 61, realized there was much more to do.

    March 17, 2016
    Leaving the USGS will allow Jones to devote more time to an old passion: the viola da gamba. She practices the cello-like instrument every night. (Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)
    After her last day at the USGS on March 30, she can start raising money to create a center that bridges science and public policy. She can also partner with cities on disaster issues the way she worked on earthquakes with Los Angeles.

    Climate change is a big priority. In the same blunt way she persuaded the public to confront its denial about earthquakes, Jones will try to force a conversation about the need to adapt to a warming planet.

    http://www.latimes.com/local/california/la-me-lucy-jones-20160320-story.html

  43. The article about the hottest February on record is interesting as it also mentions this has been the warmest winter on record….except the met office has confirmed that in the cET record dating back to 1659 , years inter of 1869 was warmer.

    Tonyb

  44. I had been missing the learned and thoughtful contributions here and elsewhere of Pekka Pirila. I checked, and was very saddened to see that he died last November (Finnish obituary here).

    • Thanks very much for that, Nick, it was news to me. By coincidence, earlier today I was reading some exchanges from 2010 between you, Pekka, and others at ATTP concerning the impact if any of the greenhouse effect on lapse rate

      A short CV for Pekka in English can be seen here. Googling for obituaries about him turn up (so far) only Finnish ones, some of which Google helpfully offers to translate (badly, sadly).

      I for one will greatly miss his to-the-point comments over the past half dozen years I’ve encountered him via the blogosphere. His background in particle physics at CERN in Switzerland and Argonne National Labs in Illionois stood him in good stead when he made the transition to risk management in energy economics at the turn of the millennium.

  45. Nick

    There was some comment here at the time about Pekka’s death. Yes, we do miss his excellent contributions.

    tonyb

    • In addition to being knowledgeable, he was unfailingly courteous in his interactions with other commenters. A standard we should all (including me) strive to meet.

      Kent

  46. From the article:

    We haven’t seen this much CO2 added to the atmosphere in 66 million years: “If you look over the entire Cenozoic, the last 66 million years, the only event that we know of at the moment, that has a massive carbon release, and happens over a relatively short period of time, is the Palaeocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM),” says Zeebe. “We actually have to go back to relatively old periods, because in the more recent past, we don’t see anything comparable to what humans are currently doing.” [New research suggests, even the drama of the PETM falls short of our current period, in at least one key respect: We’re putting carbon into the atmosphere at an even faster rate than happened back then.]

    https://slashdot.org/

  47. Pat Cassen,

    You wrote –

    “Oh yeah? Well the Universe has been cooling for thirteen billion years – nothing can heat up!”

    I assume you are attempting sarcasm, as you don’t appear to be able to produce any facts to contradict me.

    The Earth is cooling. A portion of the surface will heat up during the day, and cool at night. During a complete orbit around the Sun, the Earth will be exposed to greater radiation from the Sun when it is closer, and the surface will probably be warmer, other conditions being constant.

    Warmists would have us believe that each year, at the same point in its orbit, the Earth’s total amount of energy has increased. This energy magically does not dissipate, and is accumulated year on year.

    On the other hand, it supposedly results in increased surface temperature, evidenced by increased radiation of energy. So the energy doesn’t get radiated away, and simultaneously does get radiated away – otherwise no increase in temperature would be evident. Physically impossible, but Warmists fall for it, hook, line, and sinker!

    Unfortunately, without a change in state, losing energy by radiation results in a lowering of temperature. Without replacement energy, a body will continue to radiate energy, and reduce its temperature, until it reaches no temperature at all, or absolute zero.

    CO2 acts like other matter. If it absorbs energy, its temperature rises. If allowed to radiate enough to energy away, its temperature drops to the point where it becomes a solid, and eventually to absolute zero.

    No miraculous heating. No magical heat storage or accumulation without an accompanying temperature rise.

    If you are trying to be sarcastic to make up for your lack of physical understanding, you could do better. Please let me know if you need help with effective sarcasm. I find facts more effective to support my point of view, but I am told my sarcasm is first rate on occasion. Your choice, of course.

    Cheers.

  48. Jim D and others,

    The Moon doesn’t seem to need your nonsensical TOA.

    It manages to heat up faster, and to higher temperatures, than the Earth. It also cools down faster and to lower temperatures than the Earth, when the Sun’s radiation is removed.

    No lapse rate, convection, advection, or back radiation. Amazing. Maybe negative CO2 non warming is happening? Could it be that the lack of other GHGs is providing negative amplification, resulting in hotter and colder temperatures?

    The Warmist World Wonders!

    Cheers.

    • No atmosphere and slow rotation do that, Mike. It’s called physics. try it sometime.

      • Jim D,

        Not even a nice try. Check the NASA Diviner data. As I said, the Moon’s surface heats faster, and to higher temperature after the same length of exposure to the Sun (from local daybreak). And vice versa.

        Your sarcasm attempt is lame, but I will try to do better – here you go –

        “Are you truly stupid, or just pretending?”

        I can provide more, if you need them. I’m always glad to help those less intellectually gifted than myself.

        Cheers.

      • The lunar day is 28 of our days. Of course it heats up more. What are you talking about?

      • Jim D,

        Maybe you really are thick. I really thought you were only pretending, in order to have some fun with me.

        Look at the NASA data. Check the Moon’s surface temperature, say 3 hours after dawn. Check the temperature of the hottest place on Earth at the same time after dawn – say 3 hours.

        Of course, Warmists live in denial, preferring fantasy to fact. The last thing you would do is believe fact backed up by real physics!

        Keep praying. Maybe you can heat something up using the GHE. Maybe you could use a giant magnifying glass to concentrate the 300 watts per square meter being emitted by an iceberg, and brew up a nice cup of tea! Let me know how you get on.

        Cheers.

      • 3 hours after sunrise, the sun is still only 2 degrees above the horizon on the Moon. How hot does it get? The surface flux at that time even at the equator works out to be less than 40 W/m2, which is not going to do any more temperaturewise than the dawn sun does here. I think the most likely explanation is that you have misinterpreted whatever data you have seen.

      • Jim D,

        You positively and absolutely to believe the NASA measurements, by the look of things.

        Warmists go to any lengths to deny inconvenient facts. What you think or don’t think doesn’t change physics, or the observed facts which back them up. When I receive new information, I change my mind.

        What do you do? Keep denying I guess! Good luck with that!

        Cheers.

      • I see where you went wrong, because they display it in lunar hours which are 30 times longer than ours. Three of their hours is like 4 days of daylight, so of course it is going to be hotter, but I expect you not to respond to thank me when you finally get it. Glad to help anyway. You’re welcome.

      • Jim D,

        No, I wasn’t referring to Warmist Lunatic hours, or dog years, or any thing similar.

        If you can suspend denial long enough to see what the Moon’s equatorial surface temperature rises 3 Earth hours after local sunrise, and compare it to the hottest surface locality on Earth 3 hours after sunrise, regardless of your Warmist denial, you might have to accept that bodies without an atmosphere get hotter, all else being equal.

        The nonsense about unceasing temperature rise whilst exposed to sunlight is a Hansenite delusion, although believed by many. You might be aware that the North Pole doesn’t get all that hot after being exposed to six months of continuous sunlight during its Summer.

        I’m sure you will try to convince everyone that six Arctic months is really only thirty Arctic minutes, which explains why it doesn’t heat up much. Or maybe there is more than exposure time determining surface temperature. Or does the GHE only work where it’s warm?

        Do you think the CO2 all goes to sleep at night? Maybe that’s why the temperature can drop below freezing in the Libyan desert!

        I can see you haven’t found Steven Mosher’s missing clue, so far. Keep at it.

        Cheers.

      • Do you need a picture? You’re welcome.

      • Jim D,

        Someone said they like drawing with crayons

        Try looking at the data.

        If you like modelling, try “Rates of temperature change of airless landscapes and implications for thermal stress weathering”

        Cheers.

  49. Judith Curry,

    You might be interested in this article about you:

    You have been excised from the list of the top 20 female climate
    champions by the Australian Climate Council:

    http://quadrant.org.au/opinion/doomed-planet/2016/03/climate-councils-memory-hole/

    My apologies if you have already been notifies about this demotion.

    • Well, that will help to stop the climate from changing, I’m sure!

      Fantastically Foolish Flannery can’t seem to decide whether the rain will never fall again, or whether it will never stop. Or maybe a bit of both.

      Try not to lose too much sleep, Professor Curry. I don’t think Nature takes too much notice of Flannery.

      Cheers.

    • Hi Ian, i am planning a post that incorporates this

    • Given the social psychological dynamics of the establishment, perhaps exorcised fits equally well.

  50. “Facts and values: On science, ethics and climate”

    One can argue anything once they divorce themselves from tradition and religion.

    That’s why such a path is so dangerous.

  51. More from Hansen here. Shifting bell curves. Some areas will become uninhabitable. Least responsible countries for warming have largest warming effects.
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-james-hansen/regional-climate-change-a_b_9367312.html?1456937052

    • Jim

      Unfortunately Dr Hansen has the habit of either looking far too far back in time in order to claim dire things are happening, or only examines the climatic equivalent of a blink of an eye. To say that people old enough to know summers of today are hotter than summers of 50 years ago looks back to some imagined recent golden past.

      Fortunately we can look to summers as far back as 1659 with CET

      The LIA was renowned for its blazing hot summers. We know there were very hot summers in the first half of the16th and 14th centuries and 13th centuries and generally (but not always) hot summers during the MWP roughly 88AD to 1190 AD.

      Hot summers are nothing new at all. Its the freezing cold winters we really need to be worried about especially if they continue into spring.

      Bearing in mind the considerable variability of the weather at some periods in the past it appears we have been living in a relatively benign period in recent decades.

      tonyb

      • Hansen has a habit of writing propaganda.

      • If it was propaganda, you would be falling for it.

        This is another Hansen masterwork of scholarly synthesis, modeling virtuosity, and insight, with profound implications. … – David Archer

        What impressed Archer?

      • Danny Thomas

        “But this is a new era in climate communications, one in which scientists will try to assert the necessity of action as much as politicians or activists. It is critical that, while giving researchers their prized place in the public sphere, we do not overstate or sensationalize their findings. As journalists, as people speaking in the public, and as concerned and vulnerable participants in the Earth system, we owe it to each other to get this right.”

        http://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2016/03/the-struggle-of-clear-climate-communication/474987/

      • Three-standard deviation hot summers have a probability of one in every few hundred years for a given region. It doesn’t mean they are impossible, and I am sure the CET has some. What is happening is that 1 in 100 hot summers are now becoming 1 in 10 hot summers in many northern hemisphere land locations. That’s just what the statistics can tell you. Try it with CET and see what you get. Hansen shows stats for many regions for the last century or so, and that shift is significant especially later in this period.

      • It warns that, by 2100, the planet’s natural system could change so dramatically that enormous “superstorms,” sometimes powerful enough to hurl ocean boulders hundreds of feet into the air, will form in the Atlantic Ocean. …

        I don’t want to wade through the whole thing again, but the storms that supposedly tossed the boulders happened a long time ago… during a cooling from a warm period.

        What he is saying is a AMOC slowdown later this century could result in a temperature gradient that could cause intensified storms as it happened in the past. i could be wrong, but I don’t think he ever says gigantic stones are going to be flying from the oceans to mountain tops later this century.

        The Water Chef warned of the AMOC thing repeatedly here and nobody said a thing.

        Hansen’s paper was open for comment. The “Hansen is a bad scientist” folks had their shot. They could have ganged upon him with their solid, statistician-approved science. Their effort was a complete joke.

      • Danny Thomas

        Above my pay grade, but:
        “Data obtained from techniques still in their infancy and limited to very short time windows must be integrated with other information to become meaningful. Our evidence is not made from one line of evidence, but the integration of three lines. The three lines suggest significant inter-annual multi-decadal variability, with the AMOC likely reducing trend of –0.82•10-2 Sv/year 1856 to present, growing +0.24•10–2 Sv/year 1910 to present, and then strongly reducing -4.56•10–2 Sv/year over the last decade only because of natural variability.”

        then:
        “6. Significance
        Our paper discusses the limits of all the indices and studies proposed so far for the AMOC, also introducing a novel long term index based on tide gauge results that is integrated with the recent satellite observations of sea surface height and temperature, salinity and velocity from profiling buoys. The paper concludes that there is no undoubtable evidence of a weakening or strengthening of the AMOC, as no index returns an accurate measure of the AMOC strength over a time window long enough to clear the longer term trend of the multi-decadal variability. The most likely pattern is oscillatory about a longer term trend not sufficiently well delineated.”

        So is Hansen suggesting risk management? He (they) even changed the title.

        http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S246801331500008X

      • What has them concerned is the recent emergence of a blob of very cold ocean surface south of Greenland. He says could be the start of an AMOC slowdown if it is being caused by melt water from Greenland . I don’t know if the cold blob had emerged when A. Parker wrote his wonderful paper.

        A commentary, published today in the journal Nature Climate Change, warns that the IPCC scenarios are often inappropriate or incomplete for the management of high-risk coastal areas as they exclude the potential for extreme sea-level rises. This missing information is also crucial for a number of policy processes, such as discussions by G7 countries to establish climate insurance policies and allocations of adaptation funding by the Green Climate Funds. …

      • Danny Thomas

        Parker et al do say this: “The work of Rahmstorf et al. [12] claims that a cold spot south of Greenland is caused by melt water from Greenland and it is used as evidence of a slowed circulation. But their simulations show a second cooling patch in central Africa. Since this latter result does not support their narrative, they attribute this cooling to the poor data coverage for Africa, an artifact of data non homogeneities. This different attribution of value to two results of the same computation is entirely arbitrary.”

        so it appears Parker was aware of ‘the blob’ and yet another.

        Guessing you didn’t read Parker’s offering. 4th para down in section 4) Discussion.

      • I have read one of his papers… one critical of Hay.

      • Danny Thomas

        This one: “The slow, steady rise in sea level shown by tide gauge is in
        striking conflict with the claim that the absolute sea level is rising at
        a rate of þ3.2 mm/year (CU sea level research group, 2015). This
        rate of rise contrasts not only with the results of the tide gauges but
        also with the actual raw signal of the altimeter.
        What is actually measured is a noisy signal with a zero slope
        trend line. It is only after corrections and adjustments that the
        result has a significant slope.”

        http://www.klimarealistene.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/1-s2.0-S0964569116300205-main.pdf

        Take it you’re not a fanatic of Parkers (who cites Chambers) while apparently you are a ‘groupie’ of Hansen?

        It would be interesting to know why one vs. the other.

      • This is 2015 versus the mean from 1901-1930.
        Much of the recent cooling trend has occurred since 2010 (lower map)

      • Hansen or Parker… that’s a tough one.

      • Danny Thomas

        Parker or Hay?

      • Boretti or Mitrovica?

      • Danny Thomas

        Lead authors don’t matter? Why did you change the question?

      • As I understand it, a co-author who didn’t know he was a co-author was communicating with Alberto Boretti, who turned out to be somebody else… but not Hansen or Hay or Rahmstorf or even Mitrovica.

      • Danny Thomas

        Someone who was what they weren’t talked to someone who wasn’t who they talked to or those others? Got it. Clear as day.

      • Danny Thomas

        JCH,
        Interesting. Thanks for that. Noticed the school was engineering. Seems like either an earth breaking (repairing) paper or an extreme failure in the peer review if the science is truly ‘made up’.
        Gotta say, it makes me skeptical. I’ve got more background work to do. Couldn’t find Parker on the school’s website, but see there are a few more works on G. Scholar.

        Wonder why the work hasn’t been withdrawn?

      • jimd

        What is evident from CET plus my extension and other research is that we tend to have ‘clusters’ of weather be it hot summers, cold winters and wet or dry periods.

        We can trace these back a thousand years and John Kington of CRU covered this in his book ‘Climate and Weather.’ We can see a continuation of that sequence today if you look back far enough. As I say, we have had a benign half century or so and Hansen is constructing a modern trend rather than looking back a sufficient distance.

        tonyb

      • Danny

        I have met Parker but not Hansen.

        The former is a very thorough scientist who is very circumspect who works in a circumspect organisation (the Met Office) not generally given to the same headline grabbing scare mongering that Dr Hansen likes to go in for. My vote is for Parker.

        tonyb

      • Danny

        I think we may be talking about different Parkers although the Met Office one also writes on this subject.

        I have no knowledge of ‘A Parker’ who appears to be the subject of your exchanges with JCH

        tonyb

      • Danny Thomas

        Tony,
        Got it! Thank you.

      • Danny – there is a scientist who has studied the AMOC for a very long time who does dispute there is a slowdown. I think he’s from Rhode Island. He’s at least legit. The RAPID array should soon provide solid evidence. Personally, I am skeptical that the AMOC will stop in the 21st century, but the possibility of that is plausible.

      • Danny Thomas

        Thanks JCH. Will look more fully.

      • Danny

        Thought you might be interested in this Pathe News reel film of the Gulf Stream dating from 1936. Never mind the slowdown, apparently there was a dastardly American plan to divert it!

        http://www.britishpathe.com/video/gambling-with-gulf-stream-aka-gambling-on-the-gulf

        tonyb

      • Well, if King Trump Louis XII” would build that Limey freezin’ wall, I would vote for him!

      • jCH

        But it would also defrost the arctic. Is your desire to freeze us limeys greater than your concerns at destroying the Arctic environment and changing the worlds climate?

        tonyb

  52. Another take on Hansen’s apocolypse article:

    James Hansen, a former NASA scientist, says his new study suggests the impact of global warming will be quicker and more catastrophic than generally envisioned. The research invokes collapsing ice sheets, violent megastorms and even the hurling of boulders by giant waves in its quest to suggest that even 2 degrees Celsius of global warming above pre-industrial levels would be far too much.

    https://news.slashdot.org/story/16/03/22/1632214/we-had-all-better-hope-these-scientists-are-wrong-about-the-planets-future

  53. Earth temperature is primarily and to the greatest extent controlled by our local star, or at least that is what our longest instrumental temperature record shows.. According to scientists solar activity is well represented by the C14 proxy.

    This may be to a degree is correct, but there is an un-natural burst in 1780s. There is no logic or reliable data to justify this. An up tic in solar activity equal to that in previous or following decades is most likely but the CET didn’t follow that time.
    There is a good reason for that; there was strong volcanic activity in Iceland at the time, which greatly affected N. W European climate for number of years.
    The Laki eruption starting in June 1873 lasted for about 8 months, ejecting an estimated 14 km3 of basaltic lava from more than 100 vents along more than 20 km fissure and cones. This was one of the largest basaltic eruptions known. Nearby Grímvötn erupted more than half a dozen times from 1783 to 1785. For Iceland itself, the following winter (1783/84) was known as the ‘Famine Winter’: 25% of the population died.
    UK winter (1783 December – 1784 February) was one of the coldest, CET was 1.2C, some 2.5C below the all-series average. The Thames was completely frozen in February and traffic crossed on the ice.
    1784 was cold year (in the ‘top-10 coldest years in the CET record), the summer was very wet in London/South; sleeting in the Moray Firth in August with a heavy snow in London on in October.

    Above graph shows that CET apparently leads solar C14 modulation. Originally I wondered why the time lag appears to be wrong way around.
    Explanation could be as follows:
    The C14 data shown in the graph is extracted from tree rings . There is a primary delay of one year due to the time solar wind takes to reach heliopause where the solar modulation takes place, so intensity of cosmic rays reaching us today was modulated by solar activity of a year ago.
    The greatest amount of delay (I am told by the experts) is due to the process of absorption and accumulation since “ the residence time of 14C in the atmosphere is of the order of 40 years “.
    To the contrary (as I suspected for some time) the amount of C14 in the atmosphere could be directly dependant on atmospheric precipitation which is dependant on the temperatures, in which case the C14 proxy is only an excellent proxy only for the C14, as is definitely is the case for the 10Be proxies.
    Evidence of climate being controlled by sun for all or at least the most of 350 years of the CET records is compelling.

  54. Danny Thomas

    ““All-weather solar cells are promising in solving the energy crisis,” explain the scientists from Ocean University of China and Yunnan Normal University, noting that the technology combines an electron-enriched graphene electrode with a dye-sensitized solar cell. “The new solar cell can be excited by incident light on sunny days and raindrops on rainy days,” they add.”

    http://www.foxnews.com/tech/2016/04/11/electric-rain-solar-panel-turns-raindrops-into-power.html