Preparing a new talk

by Judith Curry

I could use some help pulling together some graphs for a talk I am giving next week.

About a year ago, I participated in a panel discussion The National Associated of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) [link].  It was a very worthwhile event, and I am doing it again next week (with Joe Casola again).

The slides for my presentation are due next Monday (two days from now). The slides I used last year seem quite dated (beyond just needing to add one more year of data).  I have been insanely busy and I put this off until the last minute.  I could use some help.

Time series graphs

Has anyone seen a time series of ECMWF reanalysis global surface temperature time series through 2015 (i spotted one through Oct 15, 2015)

Has anyone seen a good graph of recent surface temperatures (say 1990-2015) that includes HadCrut4, NOAA, NASA, BEST?

Has anyone seen a graph of the comparison between RSS (new version) plus possibly UAH, versus the CMIP5 predictions

I am looking for a plot of the palmer drought severity index for the US through 2015.  I can do the plot at the NOAA site  but I can’t get this plot into a ppt slide.  Suggestions?

5 questions

We have been asked to respond to the following:

  • oceans rising faster than any time in the last 2800 years
  • 2015:  hottest year
  • Some extreme weather events were linked to climate change in the March report on extreme events from the National Academies
  • Ancient trees emerge from frozen forest tomb in the Arctic (relates to decadal to millennial scale variations in the Arctic).
  • The Paris Climate talks

I would appreciate any suggestions for graphs or arguments on these points.

Moderation note:  This thread will be strictly moderated for relevance through the end of Monday (after which time it will open to more general comments).  Thanks in advance for any help that you can provide.  Lets see how crowd sourcing this talk might work.

Update:  Your comments and emails have been HUGELY helpful. I remarked to Peter that the Denizens are much better than graduate students, since they do a lot of work on Sunday.  A draft of my presentation is found here [NARUC curry 2016 ], would appreciate comments and suggestions (you will see many of your suggestions incorporated here!)

280 responses to “Preparing a new talk

  1. A year ago NARUC asked: “You’re Still Not Sure Global Warming is Real?”

    I recommend you reaffirm that You’re Still Not Sure Global Warming is Real because precise experimental measurements indicate the Sun’s core is a pulsar:

  2. Judith, specific help re NCDC (now NCEI) PDSI. Last paragraph before 5 questions. Mac oriented, but still just basic MS Office and Adobe stuff.
    Select ‘print’ PDSI from the NOAA website. Select the electronic .pdf option rather than paper. This choice may be a bit browser specific; I use Safari.
    Then click on the saved electronic Adobe .pdf image, select ‘copy’ (or only that portion you wish via ‘view’ ‘select’ in the standard .pdf program) and then paste the selected image copy or portion thereof into a blank .ppt. You can then grab its image corners in the pasted .ppt and resize to suit. Usually scales nicely without loss of visual acuity. That .ppt can be copied into any other .ppt, or ‘saved’ as a .jpg. How I produce the many .jpg images you have required for my/our (PE) guest CE posts.

  3. On ocean SLR. The reasonably geostationary long record tide gauges have 2.0-2.1 mm/year for the last century to now. The 1993 ‘switch’ to sat altimetry has maybe 2.8-3.0 before GIA model adjustments upward of 0.3-0.4 mm/yr. No acceleration evident in either.
    Apples to oranges discrepancy in measurement method switch has several possible explanations. Precision/accuracy, ocean/ continental edge, … Fruit salad problem concatenating methods yielding different base estimates. See CSIRO apples/oranges SLR illustration in essay PseudoPrecision in ebook Blowing Smoke, which you can also find easily via Google images. There are several Google Images versions of the reasonably geostationary tide gauge SLR estimates also quickly available.

  4. Every single recent extreme weather event cited in the ‘official’ US 2014 National Climate Assessment is a recent weather cherry pick without reference to the history of same. Essay Credibility Conundrums has historical proofs with many illustrations. Oklahoma heat waves, Texas drought, Chicago blizzards… You are hereby granted permission to use as you see fit (no attribution necessary) from the many examples/illustrations therein in ebook Blowing Smoke.

  5. “Has anyone seen a good graph of recent surface temperatures”
    You can make one here, though it’s on a 1981-2010 common anomaly base.Here is a snapshot, smoothed 12-month moving average (optional).

    On hottest year, there are progressive plots here. Eg

      • Nick Stokes deserves all caps. He’s that GREAT!

      • The BEST and all graph didn’t quite work – the scaling wasn’t ideal, and it didn’t go quite to present. Here’s a better version:

      • WordPress is doing something odd here. It’s showing on this page the same graph as before. But if you download it, or just click to show in a separate tab, it shows the right plot.

      • Nick Stokes, thank you for the graphs. I caught your update on the Week in Review Page.

      • MM,
        I’ll show it again. I think the problem has been that I posted a new copy, but with the same URL. WordPress just shows its stored version, but has the new available on request. I’ll try with a new name:

      • yes there is still a problem with the x-axis not aligning correctly with the plot. I would like to use this diagram if we can get it fixed. thanks much

      • Nick Stokes: MM,
        I’ll show it again.

        Thank you. Could you plot it since 1950, as you did on the week in review, at 3:18 am? The curves on the two plots do not look the same to me, but I can’t adjust the scaling by eye.

      • “yes there is still a problem with the x-axis not aligning correctly with the plot.”
        The x-axis seems OK to me. It is a centered 12-month moving average, so the latest point shows as August 2015 (centered, ending in Feb). Here is a version with a vertical grid, for checking:

        The 1997/8 peak seems about right, after smoothing. It did peak in Feb. I think the final value is indeed in August 2015.

    • Hello Nick,

      I believe the linked chart is your work. If I am eyeballing the chart correctly, it looks like the 2015 GISS annual average temperature anomaly is between Hansen’s low scenario and middle scenario forecasts. I don’t know if you can show it, but I believe the February 2016 GISS is close to his high scenario forecast.

      • Max10k,
        Here is the latest, to Feb 2016. Red is regular GISS land/ocean; green is the GISS Ts which is what Hansen was using at the time (met stations only). 12 month moving average plots. It doesn’t show individual monthly values, but yes, Feb 2016 is right in line with the hottest scenario.

      • Max,
        Once again I cut off the GISS Ts plot, which actually goes higher than shown. Here is the monthly, unsmoothed plot:

      • Nick, thank you. Hansen may turn out to to be more prophetic than his critics thought. His three scenarios go out to the 2020, and with another La Nina just around the corner, my guess is observed average annual temperature will be close to his middle scenario forecast by then.

      • I think NOAA land would be right there as well, if not higher.

      • Nick Stokes: Max10k,
        Here is the latest, to Feb 2016

        Ah. I see that you already did what i requested. Thank you.

      • MM – the above is an updated Hansen 1988 graph. At 3:18 am Nick posted an updated 1981 Hansen.

        The graph he made for Professor Curry is from one of the tools he provides on his website. I cannot quite figure out how he saved it as an image..

      • JCH: MM – the above is an updated Hansen 1988 graph. At 3:18 am Nick posted an updated 1981 Hansen.

        Yes, but my question was about the actual temperature series.

      • “I cannot quite figure out how he saved it as an image..”
        I just (Windows) Print Scrn button, then paste into Paint, crop, and save as png.

      • the challenge is for us mac users,, i have still not figured out how to do this after following all the suggestions

      • catweazle666

        curryja: “the challenge is for us mac users,, i have still not figured out how to do this after following all the suggestions”

        Apple supply an application for the purpose.

        Go to your Applications/Utilities folder.

        There should be an application called Grab which will do the job.

        If not, download it.

      • Nick Stokes: Here is the latest, to Feb 2016.

        Please remind me why the 1988 prediction was so different from the 1981 prediction. Would you consider the 1981 prediction to have been more accurate than the 1988 prediction?

        But was either a “prediction”? The temperature models depended on the CO2 forecasts. CO2 has been more like the Hansen et al high scenarios, whereas the temperature is close to the forecast for the lowest scenarios, at least the 1988 lowest scenarios.

        If it is true (as asserted by Jim D) that Hansen et al 1981 correctly predicted the temperature trend to today, should we start ignoring Hansen et al 1988 et seq.?

  6. Solar Cycle Prediction (Updated 2016/01/12) ~NASA

    • A slightly more up to date graph on solar flux and solar spots are here including data:

      • Given the state of the science, instead of global warming, Al Gore could as easily predict– based on trends in solar activity — that in 2024 humanity will be witness to the coldest year that anyone then living will have ever experienced.

      • The problem for coolers is simple… in the current climate regime, ACO2 is the control knob, and it has been turned up.

      • JCH:

        You state “ACO2 is the control knob, and it has been turned up”.

        No, net global dimming SO2 emissions are the control knob, and they have been decreasing.

        2010: 103 Megatonnes
        2011: 101 ”
        2012 99 Est
        2013 98 ”
        2014 94 ”
        2015 85 ”

        (Estimated values should be available this quarter)

      • Even a greenhouse gets cold when the sun goes down. Remove the roof and it might even freeze inside.

  7. I can do the plot at the NOAA site but I can’t get this plot into a ppt slide. Suggestions?

    If you can get a plot on your screen, you can use Alt Print Scr to copy the screen. You can paste that into Powerpoint and crop it.

  8. Using Safari on OS X El Capitan the flash plug-in worked and I saved the PNG image at Dropbox so you can grab it from here:

  9. I would tell them this:
    This was on the back of my business card for several years.

    About 2000 years ago, there was a Roman Warm Period and then it got cold. About 1000 years ago, there was a Medieval Warm Period and then it got cold. That was called the Little Ice Age. It is warm now because it is supposed to be warm now. It is a natural cycle and we did not cause it. CO2 just makes green things grow better, while using less water.

    I would tell them this:
    This is currently on the back of my business card.

    Oceans warm, Polar Oceans Thaw, Snowfall increases. Ice is replenished on Antarctica, Greenland and Mountain Glaciers. Ice builds up and spreads out, Increasing albedo and dumping ice and ice cold water into the oceans and on land until earth cools. Polar oceans freeze and the sun takes away ice every year until earth warms again. It is a natural cycle and we did not cause it. CO2 just makes the green stuff grow better with less water.

  10. As for attribution of extreme weather events to AGW, read “The Golden Rule of Climate Extremes” at the Weather Blog of the highly respected and cool-headed meteorologist Cliff Mass of the University of Washington ( ) which states simply:

    The more extreme a climate or weather record is, the greater the contribution of natural variability.

    IMHO given that the Weather/Climate system is a deterministic, coupled system governed by nonlinear Navier-Stokes equations, there is no convincing way to separate weather effects from climate.

    • good article
      it is impossible to talk about attribution of extreme weather events without getting into philosophy and culture
      attribution represents the neo-puritan aspect of the public debate on climate and the global progressive movement
      human activity is a natural variable
      we are not special
      hard for me to not see attribution as a theological question

      • David Wojick

        Surely attribution is also a physical scientific question. Mind you it may not be answerable if the physical climate system is sufficiently chaotic, but that too is a physical scientific question.

      • rebelronin,

        We are so very fortunate that the people who wrote the United States Constitution rejected the Cartesian and Hobbesian notions of some highly idealized, but nonexistent, apodictic science.

        A great many people, and especially scientists it seems, still believe in such fairy tales.

        The group-think of the climatariat, and the idea of a “consensus” forming around something as complex and chaotic as the climate (both present and future), is unrealistic, to say the least.

        Fractiousness and independence of mind are what the authors of the constitution believed existed in human affairs.

        This is a philosophy of knolwedge, and science, with a long tradition, beginning with Petrarch, continuing with Montaigne, Pascal and Montesquieu, and finally handed down to Adams and Madison.

        Here’s how Michael Allen Gillespie puts it in The Theological Origins of Modernity:

        Descartes did not expect an immediate revolutionary change in the order of things, but he certainly thought that the European world would be transformed in the long run by the adoption and gradual application of his science…. In fact he expects others to imitate his model and undertake a thorough self-examination.

        The crucial question, of course, is what he imagines the consequence of such self-examination will be.

        Montaigne had made a similar appeal with his Essays, and he seems to have believed that the result would be a flowering of human multiplicity, because he did not believe that any two human beings would ever reason alike.

        This was the inevitable conclusion of a humanism that began with a notion of human individuality in Petrarch and developed this notion to its conclusion in the Promethean individualism of Pico and others.

        Descartes, by contrast, was convinced that anyone who is freed from the prejudices of the world and uses his good sense will arrive at exactly the same conclusions he did.

    • David Wojick

      Unfortunately Mass’s point is more semantic than scientific. Some of the comments make this clear. The issue is not the probability distribution of events, which is indeed due to natural variability, but the change in that distribution, which he attributes to AGW. Thus he is a warmer.

      • He’s a warmer, but a well reasoned one who does not point to every weather event and yell it’s global warming. If there were more people involved in climate science like Cliff Mass, we wouldn’t have this much contention.

  11. Temperature Regulation of earth, in each hemisphere, is achieved when Polar Oceans are warm and thawed and promotes more clouds and precipitation to provide more cooling and when Polar oceans are cold and frozen they promote less clouds and precipitation to allow warming.

    When the Polar Oceans are warm and thawed, the donuts of ice shelves and sea ice around the Antarctic and Greenland get smaller and allow more snowfall on land to rebuild the ice. When the Polar Oceans are cold and frozen, the donuts of ice shelves and sea ice get much larger and snow mostly falls on the sea ice and ice shelves, does not become multi-year ice on land and allows the ice on land to deplete.

    IR, with cooling a factor of the fourth power of temperature, provides the most cooling, but it does not have a thermostat with a fixed set point.
    Actual data shows the temperature regulation has thermostats with fixed set points and cooling that can be turned on and off as needed. The fixed set point is the temperature that Polar Oceans Freeze and Thaw. Snowfall is turned on and off as needed.

  12. Judith,

    On the Paris COP-21 talks and ‘treaty’, I posted the following on the online Climate Discussion Group of the Geological Society of America late in 2015. FEEL FREE to use a
    s you see fit:

    “The Paris COP-21 meeting on climate change has published its 31-page “Agreement” which can be read here:

    I’ve read the agreement and got the impression, perhaps mistaken, that it is an advocacy document with feel-good intentions lacking rigor and enforcement mechanisms. Key provisions are voluntary with no oversight. In other words, each country is left to decide what it wants to do simply because no agreement was possible without such a provision rendering it meaningless.

    The winners were the Indians and the Chinese who are increasing coal production. The Chinese also are selling coal-fired power plants to other countries! Even US Secretary of State Kerry admitted that any agreed mitigation the US might do won’t ameliorate Anthropogenic global warming significantly.

    The Agreement also has an opt-out provision after three years from signing the agreement with a one-year waiting period after giving notice. However, failure of 55 countries to ratify the agreement by April, 2016, also is an opt-out mechanism that is four months away. The most critical part of the agreement appears in the “Annex” starting on p.19.

    The Global Warming Policy Foundation in the UK has described the COP-21 Agreement as “non-binding and toothless” which pretty-well sums it up. Similarly, GSA’s distinguished invited speaker at the 2015 Baltimore annual meeting, Dr. James Hansen, has stated that the COP-21 meeting in Paris is a ”fraud.” ( Given his credentials and GSA’s high regard for his expertise, Dr. Hansen’s assessment should be taken seriously even if his language could be viewed by some as strong.

    The 12 day venue appears to have been very costly. I estimated it cost over $1 Billion to arrange the Paris meeting. Using the US State Department per diem rate for Paris of $480/day, just this item for 40,000 delegates comes to $211,200,000. Travel costs, averaging $5,000 per delegate (probably a low figure because most travelled first class) would add $200 million. Add rental of the venue, security, special limousines, flying the US President’s security designed SUV, security detail and 500 person entourage, and the costs keep climbing. Add delegates’ salaries as an additional cost.

    Did the world get its money’s worth? In the Southern USA, they say “time will tell.” In my view, the venue money could have been better spent helping the world’s poor improve their economic well-being and given them a chance for upward mobility. That’s a global goal worth striving for. – ”

    George Devries Klein, PhD, PG, FGSA & Professor of Geology Emeritus, University of Illinois @ Urbana-Champaign

  13. Consensus Theory and much Skeptic Theory causes earth to get cold and then ice is always added as a result of it being colder.
    That is not possible, after it gets cold, the oceans freeze and cut off the source of moisture for snowfall.

    The more snowfall can only fall in the warmest time and then ice advances to help cause it to get cold.

    Look at actual ice core data. More ice accumulation always occurs during warm times. Ice advances after that and it gets cold.

  14. What is the story about ancient trees emerging in the Arctic? I’m not familiar with it. Perhaps the paper by Humlum et al. on glacier growth in Svalbard since mediaeval times is relevant. Glaciers on Svalbard have mostly retreated over the past century, but plants deep under the glaciers today reveal that the glaciers were much smaller in mediaeval times. This shows that the climate variations in the Arctic on a millennial scale are large even compared to the rapid recent changes.

  15. Robin Guenier

    Paris COP-21

    Under the text agreed in Paris (, the “developing countries” (responsible for at least 70% of greenhouse gas emissions and comprising about 82% of the world’s population and virtually all its poorest people) are exempted from any obligation to take action to cut their fossil fuel use.

    The Paris Agreement was adopted “under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change” (the UNFCCC) by which (Article 4.7) developing countries are expressly authorised to give overriding priority to “economic and social development and poverty eradication”. That was reinforced by Article 4.4 of the Paris Agreement that restricts “absolute emissions reduction targets” to the developed countries whereas developing countries are required only to make voluntary “mitigation efforts”.

    The distinction between developed and developing economies has plagued international climate negotiations for about twenty-five years. The 2009 UN conference in Copenhagen failed to resolve the matter and it was hoped that Paris would do so. It didn’t – and it’s hard to see what mechanism might change this now.

    • Robin Guenier

      Here’s why this is of the first importance.

      Since the Rio “Earth Summit” in 1992, developing countries have been exempt from any obligation to reduce GHG emissions. That’s why emissions have grown. Therefore, if emissions were to be reduced, the major emerging economies had to be excluded from the “developing” category. It was hoped this would happen at Copenhagen. It didn’t. But the debate continued – and this time the aim was to resolve the issue at Paris. But, in 2015, the major emerging economies (China, India etc.) rejected any proposal for an amendment to the categorisation. So the Paris Agreement included no such amendment.

      But this time – unlike Copenhagen – we have (or will have when it’s ratified) a legally binding agreement. As it’s most unlikely it will ever be renegotiated, the developing country exemption is now locked in.

      So emissions will continue to rise.

  16. Paris climate agreement

    It might be interesting to note the reaction of the most relevant financial market to what at least one newspaper described as this ‘great gift to the world’. This is the European carbon emissions market (ICE EUA) under the once vaunted EU ETS cap and trade scheme launched in 2005. Prices peaked at near 30euros (long ago). Much EU intervention in the 18 months before Paris pushed prices back to around 8. In the days following Paris, futures prices have fallen to 5 and stayed there. This at a time when there is so much euro printing that you have to pay the German government to lend them money for less than 10 years!

    It seems not unreasonable to infer that those big banks etc who trade these things are not happy about a lack of bite on the emission reduction front in this treaty.

  17. This Tokyo Climate Center webpage may be of interest, it reports El Niño conditions since mid 2014.

    There it shows the length of previous events, of which a few spanned over three calendar years, although I believe this 2014-15-16 event may be the longest by about four months.

  18. Climate science has not only been politicized, but moralized as well.

    Working into your talk the way the science has been moralized, in addition to being politicized, the way you did in this talk, was a nice touch.

    So in addition to asking whether the following empirical claims are true or not, one might also ask what the moral and political implications are.

    • oceans rising faster than any time in the last 2800 years

    • 2015: hottest year

    • Some extreme weather events were linked to climate change in the March report on extreme events from the National Academies

    I remember reading somewhere that naming the Higgs boson the “God particle” was quite an ingenious public relations feat. It brought the project a great deal of attention and interest in the public eye, much more so than had the particle been named the Higgs boson. This made acquiring public funding for the particle accelerator eaiser. Very few are interested in physics, but everyone is interested in God and morality.

    The politicization and moralization of climate science has legs, not the science itself.

    • It is the politicization and moralization of climate science that has legs, not the science itself.

      Speaking a little bit more about this, one can’t help but be struck by the schadenfreude exhibited by the warmists over the recent anouncements of “2015: hottest year” and the studies predicting rapid sea level rise and the links between AGW and extreme weather events.

      It harkens back to the scholasticism of the the middle ages. As one Roman theologian wrote:

      The Catholic Church holds it better that the entire population of the world should die of starvation in extreme agony…than that one soul, I will not say should be lost, but should commit one single venal sin.

      And questioning or doubting the CAGW consensus — any sign of skepticism or agnosticism — is the most cardinal of all venal sins.

      “Believe and be saved, or burn in eternal agony,” goes the catechism.

      So there’s a sort of atavistic cultural perversion that has overcome us.

      Milo Yiannopoulos, an irreverent cultural critic who relishes smashing the patriotically correct icons of the right just as much as he does the politically correct icons of the left, calls this perverse morality “cuckolding”:

      The idea is that it’s people who have sold out, and enjoy seeing their wife, their country, their people, the people they are supposed to look out after, whether it’s readers in the case of journalists or constituents in the case of politicans, getting f**ked by some scary external force….

      And one should not mince words: Scientific institutions are as much a part of the overarching establishment, which Yiannopoulos so gleefully broadsides, as any of its other components.

      Yiannopoulos goes on to claim that the Trump phenomenon is a reaction to our moral degeneracy. He says the ease with which Trump dispatched all the candidates the establishment has thrown at him is an “indictment of the establishment, how dumb they are, how stupid they are.”

      “They think we’re all idiots,” he adds.

      Trump has illustrated that the concerns of the elites, the concerns of the establishment, the concerns of journalists and politicians and the people who run our lives, are so alien from what ordinary people care about, that they can’t even argue against him and it resonate with the public….

      Yiannopoulos uses the mainstream media as an example of how the establishment thinks. Nevertheless, where he says “the press” or “the media” he could just as appropriately have said “scientists”:

      When Trump says that the press are the bad guys, most people agree with him. And this is what the press doesn’t understand, because they genuinely believe they are like some sort of warrior for truth and justice.

      They’re not! They’re the bad guys! The media in this country, there’s been systemic industry-wide failure to tell the truth in this country….

      As a cure for the political and patriotic correctness of the left-right establishment, Yiannopoulos proposes what he calls “cultural libertarianism”:

      Cultural libertarianism is not about feelings. Cultural libertarianism is a response to feelings over facts.

      In fact the defining characteristic of cultural libertarianism is rigourous adherance to evidence policy making and evidence based beliefs and a rigorous insistence on classical liberalism, so it has very little to do with feelings….

      Cultural libertarianism is a reaction against the feelings-based arguments of the left.

      Yiannopoulos closes with these remarks on cultural libertarianism:

      I think it’s inexorable. I think it is irresistible.

      If you look at the 1990s, the emergence of political correctness in the 1990s, which was beaten back, very successfully by a coalition like us, we’re the ones doing it now…

      This time there’s so much more on the line for them, because if they break this time, they are breaking, they are losing, with the full support of the politicians, the media, and academia.

      And if people rise up now, and say this social justice thing, this language policing, this political correctness, safe places, trigger warnings, micro aggressions, this stuff is horsesh*t, and if enough people smash its stranglehold on the public square, it will never recover. It will never come back like this again, because it will lose at the height of its powers. It will lose in its strongest possible form. It will lose as we say in the internet “in its final form.” Social justice can’t get any stronger than it is now. It is at the peak of its powers, and it’s losing.

      And it’s losing because people want freedom. They want to be able to do, say, think, be, play, and read anything.

      And they have the faith in themselves and in other people that they are able to make the best judgments for themselves as to what they believe in.

      They don’t need to be told how to speak. They don’t need to be told which books to read. They don’t need to be told which video games are dangerous. They don’t need to be told any of these things.

      They don’t need to be instructed or lectured to by politicians. They don’t need to be badgered and hectored by feminists, and they don’t need to be lied to by journalists.

      And people are sick of it. And they are sick of the entire mendacious edifice….

      What is behind all of this, the heart of all of this, is that rejection, that fundamental rejection of the idea that somebody else knows better than I do how I should live my life.

      • Pooh, Dixie

        George Jacob Holyoake: ‘The History of Co-operation’ (11).
        For instance, Mr. James Mill takes the principle that all men desire Power; his son, John Stuart Mill, assumes that all men desire Wealth mainly or solely. …

      • Glenn,

        I just want to thank you for your intelligent, well-documented, and enlightening comments on this blog. You rarely disappoint. Thanks.

  19. Hi Judy. I am on travel this weekend with only limited internet. However, with respect to the oceans, I recommend you refer to the Nature papers that show most of the heat in the last decade or so has gone only into the Southerm Ocean. And some of that is at depth and unavailable to affect the atmosphere significantly on multi decadal time scales.

    Showing the current SST anomalies globally would be informative also. Shows quite large areas of cool values.

    Roger Sr

  20. since AGW theoy exists only to support the idea of reducing fossil fuel emissions, the conversation needs to move from what the temperature is to whether is is related to fossil fuel emissions

    see also

    • Thanks for these links

      • Judith

        There are a number of books that all climate scientists should read to give some historical context to their work Am I chiding you, amongst others for not knowing in detail about the numerous periods of warmth and cold from the start of the Holocene ? Well yes. :)

        Here is a graph I posted recently that portrays glacier advances and recessions over the last 1000 years.

        I have also created one back to the Minoan warm period, roughly 3000 years ago..

        The information was drawn from a variety of sources but especially C Pfister, Hubert Lamb ‘Climate history and the Modern World’ and more specifically E Roy Ladurie ‘Times of Feast Times of Famine’. The latter details many examples of trees being crushed by glacial advances. Also of Roman silver mines currently thawing.

        According to modern thinking Hanibal was able to cross the Alps because it coincided with a period when the glaciers were in severe recession (google ‘The Green Alps’)

        If you want to make a real impact with your talk, bring an elephant along to illustrate the point. You could label it ‘The Elephant in the room’…


      • Judith

        As regards the Arctic, are you aware of the Arctic city in Alaska dating from the Minoan warm period? I wrote about it here

        It was re-discovered in the 1940’s and the artefacts were then lost in a ship wreck when being brought to the US for evaluation. Worthy of a Hollywood blockbuster.

        I contacted the University Of Fairbanks several years ago who tried to organise a rescue operation in 2006.


    • “since AGW theoy exists only to support the idea of reducing fossil fuel emissions, ”

      AGW theory predates the idea of reducing emisssions. In fact the “first”
      AGW theorist thought the warming would be good.

      • David Springer

        Non sequitur. It does not follow that the theory exists today for the same reasons it existed in the past.

      • Steven, global weather modification, how much of a role does it play in AGW? Does anyone doubt that it plays some role, maybe only 1% but there must be a number you know about.

      • Mosher “AGW theory predates the idea of reducing emisssions. In fact the “first” AGW theorist thought the warming would be good.”

        So far, the world has prospered under minor warming. You have unwittingly have made the point for climate realists. “The share of the world’s population living in absolute poverty fell from 43% in 1981 to 14% in 2011.[37] The absolute number of people in poverty fell from 1.95 billion in 1981 to 1.01 billion in 2011.[38] The economist Max Roser estimates that the number of people in poverty is therefore roughly the same as 200 years ago.[38] This is the case since the world population was just little more than 1 billion in 1820 and the majority (84% to 94%[39]) of the world population was living poverty. The proportion of the developing world’s population living in extreme economic poverty fell from 28 percent in 1990 to 21 percent in 2001.” See


  21. P.S. On extreme weather, I suggest you refer to my son’s work and book.

  22. David Wojick

    Regarding the Paris agreement, as a scientist I would simply say that it is premature and possibly wrong headed. We do not know whether or not human emissions are significantly affecting the climate. Until we solve the attribution problem such policies are ahead of the science.

    • “Why the Paris Climate Summit Is All About the Money”

      Discussions around finance at the climate talks in Paris, known formally as the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP), largely center around a 2009 commitment from developed countries to send $100 billion a year to the developing world annually to support initiatives to address climate change. A recent report from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) showed that $62 billion, from a combination of public and private funding, flowed in that direction in 2014, a $10 billion jump from the previous year.
      Developed countries have been announcing a series of commitments to help close that nearly $30 billion gap. The United States announced a $3 billion commitment earlier this year, Canada more than $2.5 billion and Japan $1.5 billion. Others have contributed billions more. When paired with private funding, that money goes a long way. “We have every expectation of strong and robust finance continuing from the U.S. and others to developing countries,” said U.S. Climate Envoy Todd Stern at a press conference.


      The bill, greens and Democrats say, doesn’t explicitly appropriate funding for President Obama’s pledged contribution to the Green Climate Fund (GCF). But since the legislation doesn’t formally block money for the GCF either, Obama is expected to be able to use current discretionary funding streams to send American money to it.

      The GFC is a pot of public and private money designed to help poorer nations prepare for climate change. Obama pledged last year to spend $3 billion on the fund by 2020, and he asked Congress to appropriate up to $500 million for it in 2016.

      • David Wojick

        My point is that as a climate scientist Dr. Curry should not get into the complex international relations aspects of the Paris agreement. She might even say that question/topic should not be on the list.

      • Given that the Paris event was intended to stimulate massive money transfers to less developed countries (and/or their kleptocratic leaders), rather than expand scientific understanding, you have a point. But if one is asked a question (even a slanted one) it probably doesn’t hurt to have a slide or two prepared in response.

        Scientifically, I suppose one could develop a hypothesis about Paris COP21. Perhaps something along the lines of: “Paris is more about the money than the climate.”

        Then one could examine the data that supports or contradicts the hypothesis. For example, amount of time spent discussing money vs amount of time spent discussing actual climate science.

        However, considering that past UNFCCC events (Kyoto, Copenhagen, Doha) had largely established the “scientific” basis for reducing GHG emissions and set the targets; about all that was left for Paris was writing checks.

        So Paris may have been premature from the perspective of scientific conclusions and the likelihood of success climate-wise. But from the perspective of the UNFCCC 21-year (and counting) process, Paris was right on schedule.

  23. “Some extreme weather events were linked to climate change in the March report on extreme events from the National Academies”

    For an example of an extreme weather event, there is California’s 43 days of torrential rains in 1861, drowning one fourth of the state’s cattle, which followed two decades of drought – prior to man-made climate change.

    “Ancient trees emerge from frozen forest tomb in the Arctic (relates to decadal to millennial scale variations in the Arctic).”

    These revealed forests are evidence that it was warmer then than now, without CO2 emissions.

    • That’s an important point. These kinds of ’emerge for the ice’ events are usually spun as it is hotter now that is was in the year ( century ) XXXX.

      If something has just emerged from the ice it must have been as warm or WARMER in that previous period and for long enough for that object to have established itself. It also has had to be warm enough no just for it to be not buried by ice but to have grown: wheat, livestock, trees …

      ie. as a minimum:
      Tree to grow : decades to centuries.
      Stone built houses/crofts and small-hold farming : decades.


    • “These revealed forests are evidence that it was warmer then than now, without CO2 emissions.”

      What you have is evidence that there was no ice there.

      • mosh

        Please explain after reading judiths link at 9.33. These are well documented by various people in various places for many years. I have seen them myself in the alps.


      • tonyb

        It’s simple. The existence of the tree is evidence of no ice.
        You want to infer warmer temperatures from the lack of ice.
        That’s an inference.

        Like today.. if you saw Arctic ice disappear would you automatically
        conclude it was because of warming?
        A good skeptics would eliminate other potential causes of a lack of ice.
        A bad skeptic would jump to a conclusion that fit his view of things.
        That’s why we look for multiple lines of evidence.
        It very well may have been warmer in that spot. What inference can you
        draw from that? Not much unless you are willing to extrapolate beyond
        that tiny bit of land where the tree was found.

        The point is this. When it suits them skeptics are always extrapolating,
        always jumping from a bit of evidence to a “settled” position.
        They dont practice skepticism as an approach.. always question, always probe, always doubt. They practice skepticism SELECTIVELY, only when it serves their purpose.

      • Mosh

        We are talking forests, not single trees. I have sen them myself in the co of a scientific guide. They have been written about for centuries and the demise of the forests chronicled. Tree lines, together with tree species, in conjunction with glacier movements and observational evidence and chronicles are all good indicators that forests grow, are crushed and reemerge again.


      • “We are talking forests, not single trees. I have sen them myself in the co of a scientific guide. They have been written about for centuries and the demise of the forests chronicled. Tree lines, together with tree species, in conjunction with glacier movements and observational evidence and chronicles are all good indicators that forests grow, are crushed and reemerge again.’

        the same point applies. you refuse to practice skepticism, unless it suits your purpose. you refuse to acknowledge uncertainty, unless it suits
        your purpose. You refuse to look for other explanations.

        Again, it very well may have been warmer in the location of that forest
        or tree or village. But moving from that observation to a conclusion involves uncertainty which you and other skeptics refuse to acknowledge or calculate.

        This is about the practice of skepticism. yours is selective. heck you believe what you read.

      • Mosh

        So the scientists do not know what they were doing as regards their studies of the forests, glaciers and ice?. Well scientists are by no means infallible. The observations are wrong? The evidence on the ground is wrong? the written accounts are wrong? So what do you believe happened and why are the scientists and the supporting evidence wrong?

        I hope you practice as much scepticism as to the 100% veracity of the individual observations that make up BEST?


      • David Springer

        Mosher seems to be laboring under the mistaken belief that direct evidence is the only class of evidence.

        He’s wrong of course. While direct evidence is preferred (a.k.a. eyewitness, observational, empirical) indirect evidence (a.k.a. inferred, deduced, circumstantial) is used every day in every way because it is often the only evidence available.

      • tony


        So the scientists do not know what they were doing as regards their studies of the forests, glaciers and ice?. ”

        1. I am talking about the conclusions YOU DRAW.
        2. Are you relying on the authority of what you read? again?
        Did you check the data? check their methods? Check their
        assumptions? Did you actually read Pfister?

        Well scientists are by no means infallible. The observations are wrong?

        1. Its not about the observations. Its about the conclusion you jump to.
        2. You are more than willing to doubt hundreds of SST measurments
        from 1850-1990.. But you show NO ABILITY WHATSOEVER to
        apply the same doubt to a handful of forests?

        The evidence on the ground is wrong? the written accounts are wrong?

        Again. I am not doubting the observations. Written accounts are just
        that. Words on a page. What I am doubting is your METHOD of
        marshalling data to form a conclusion. Again, you have no lack
        of willingness to cast doubt on thousands of actual measurements.
        Thats fine, PROVIDED, you apply the same rigor to other evidence.
        You dont. you believe every word you read. You never calculate uncertainties, and never hunt for alternative explanations of data
        that you need to uphold your positions. Its Not the observations
        I doubt. Its your selective treatment that I call into question. Its your
        selective use of doubt.

        So what do you believe happened and why are the scientists and the supporting evidence wrong?

        As a good skeptic I am not required to offer an explanation.. Haha.
        But I would note that ASSUMING it was warmer in that location ( a handful of places ) Is just the beginning. Read The first paragraph
        When you have assembled all of the evidence you can begin to make an assement of How warm it was, how widespread the phenomena was.
        and assess other contributing factors, such as hydrology. And then you
        have BOLD the fact that these indirect measures are limited in
        geographic scope. You cannot, for example, plot the glacial retreat and CET on the same graph without CAREFULLY Alerting your readers to the different locations you are talking about. Otherwise you are going
        down the road of Mann.

        “I hope you practice as much scepticism as to the 100% veracity of the individual observations that make up BEST?”

        NONE of the observations in BE are accurate. NONE. They all have error. They are all wrong. The goal is to understand how wrong they can be
        The goal is to understand the limits of our knowledge and ignorance.
        To give the best explanation AND detail how well we know it and where
        we have to make assumptions and to test the impact of those assumptions. For example. We have to trust that record keepers recorded the temperature they saw on the gauge. We cannot double check that with a time machine. The best we can do is throw out
        data that is clearly wrong ( like a recording of 15000C) The best we
        can do is assume that the records were correctly transcribed ( we can also estimate errors of transcription) and make adjustments if other evidence suggests errors. In all of these we note our assumptions and the impacts of those decisions.

      • maksimovich1

        “These revealed forests are evidence that it was warmer then than now, without CO2 emissions.”

        What you have is evidence that there was no ice there.

        And convincing arguments 150 years ago,as to how the forests and warmer climes may have co existed in a world without co2 theory,

      • catweazle666

        Steven Mosher: “This is about the practice of skepticism. yours is selective. heck you believe what you read.”

        Whereas you appear to believe what you write…

    • This graphic helps to explain it. Glaciers would have been advancing for a few thousand years through the LIA, and these trees are at the edge, not in the middle, just where you expect the glacier front to have moved. Melting also no surprise given what is going on at the end.

      • Both trees and glaciers respond to local conditions, rather than global average temps.

      • Glaciers have a slow response normally (but not today for sure). Note also that these trees date back before the so-called MWP, which says something about the relative warmth of now and the MWP in this region.

      • As the glacier receded, 2000-year-old trees were found, and further up the mountain, a 2000-year-old forest and a 2000-year-old Mendenhall Glacier visitor center were uncovered:


      • Precipitation changes are likely responsible for the effects at both Mendenhall and Taku. At higher elevations, precipitation freezes and the glacier grows. At lower elevations, liquid precipitation melts ice directly and lubricates the glacier’s base.

        Perhaps regional warming has altered weather patterns and/or increased precipitation. Atmospheric warming (cooling), per se, only slowly impacts a glacier either way.

      • David L. Hagen

        JimD Apples & Oranges because of very different time filters. For a valid comparison you have to filter the temperature changes since say 1950 with the same century level filter effectively in the ice cores! ie most of the tempreature spike would be invisible.

      • Clearly there were no previous spikes because otherwise the trees would have been uncovered in them. What we have now is exceptional. A common argument against Marcott is this filtering-hiding-spikes defense, but the trees indicate otherwise.

      • Jim

        I am surprised at you. Here are glacier movements over the last 1000 years.

        They can be reconstructed for the past 3000. Temperature changes of only tenths of a degree for over 9000 years then a sudden leap up? How could glaciers form and retreat so regularly with that sort of difference? What did you do until Marcott came along?

        Do you know what the LIA was? It didn’t last several thousand years, it was a relatively short interval between the MWP and the Modern warming period. Even then it had many warmish intervals.


      • That graphic isn’t very informative. How many feet count as a growth or retreat? Did any of the previous retreats uncover 2000-year-old forests? None of them uncovered this one for sure. It’s a sign of the magnitude of the current retreat phase.

      • JimD

        I posted this wit the original graphic when my article first appeared. Disappointingly you didn’t make any comments at the time

        “It is drawn from the numerous glacier studies made by E Roy Ladurie and published in the book ‘Times of Feast, Times of Famine’ and also encompasses more recent research by such as C Pfister. It should be seen in its generality, as the nuances of short term advances and retreats cannot be accurately captured. It covers primarily Alpine Glaciers and some from North America. The glacier recession continues to the present day. The general considerable glacial advances from around 1550 during the Little Intermittent Ice Age can be seen, although the numerous warm years, even during glacial advances, nor the cold years during glacier recession, do not show up.”


      • Glaciers would have been advancing a lot longer than that. The cooling trend goes back to the Holocene Optimum 6-8k years ago (see Marcott). This is just as expected from the current phase of the Milankovitch precession cycle.

      • Jimd

        Glaciers advance and retreat. My graphic is as accurate as possible. They do not take thousands of Years to advance. As an example, the argentiere glacier in France was receding in the mid 1550’s but by the 1570’s was advancing and shortly after overrun farms and then the village.

        Have you actually ever been to the vicinity of a glacier? The idea that they have been inexorably crunching their way forward for 7000 years until they suddenly reversed a hundred years ago is not supported by any evidence. Do you really believe that?


      • Maybe you are not agreeing that glaciers would be more advanced in the LIA than they were in the Holocene Optimum. That is all I am saying, and I don’t know the basis for your disbelief of that. It was also likely warmer in Alaska 2000 years ago than in the LIA, so those forests were not under a glacier back then, but now have just come out from under the edge of one. If that surprises you, you should say why. None of it surprises me as I posted the Marcott plot above to explain it. It is completely consistent with that.

      • Jimd

        The glaciers had been retreating and advancing since the end of the mwp.

        After a warm period when they were in retreat, they started advancing again towards the end of the 16 th century. They started to melt quickly from around 1800

        This is shown in this graphic, if it doesn’t come out I will post it as a reference and link

      • But those ancient forests weren’t exposed before now, right?

      • catweazle666

        Oh dear Jimbo! Not that utterly debunked Hokey Schtick that even Marcott himself has disowned – AGAIN!

        You never learn, do you?

      • The only complaint was about the blue uptick at the end, which is corroborated by the red thermometer record. The more interesting part is the rest of it, because we already knew there has been an uptick.

      • catweazle666

        Jim D: “The only complaint was about the blue uptick at the end, which is corroborated by the red thermometer record.”


      • Jim D:

        What we have now is exceptional.

        Marcott and HadCRU don’t tell us what the temperature was (or even what it was doing) at these glacier sites. Also consider that they are scaled at tenths of a degree and do not show enough change over time to cause the effects being discussed.

        The local evidence shows that trees were growing in a particular valley for a long time. Then they became covered by glacial ice (at least 1000 years ago). Now the ice is receding and the stumps are being uncovered again.

        CO2 might explain part of this history but it cannot explain all of it.

  24. Thanks so much to everyone for their input! Hugely helpful.

    Re the ancient trees emerge from forest tomb, see

    • Steve McIntyre

      Judy, in respect to the trees being exposed, I entirely agree that this is conclusive evidence of warmer times in the past. I think that the long-term decline in NH temperature (especially NH growing-season temperature) over the Holocene has been under-emphasized. Much of the perspective on the Holocene comes from GISP2, but, in my judgement after looking long and hard at the data, I completely endorse the conclusion of Vinther 2009 that this series has been impacted by elevation change. The popular series disguises the long-term decline. In this revised perspective, it’s more that the Little Ice Age is the coldest since the LGM, reflecting deteriorating conditions.

      Treelines in the Holocene Optimum were far north of present treelines. They gradually retreated over the past 6000 years or so, with modern re-advance still far south of previous advances.

      The sea level rise question is also more appropriately framed in a Holocene context. It has been rising throughout the Holocene and a graph to this effect would be useful to include. Much of the sea level rise in the late Holocene (6000 BP on) appears to have derived from erosion of the West Antarctic ice sheet. The (in)stability of the West Antarctic ice sheet was a major interest of Milankowitch theorists as early as the 1970s, before AGW was an issue.

      Conway et al 1999 summarized the then “consensus”:
      “We suggest that modern grounding-line retreat is part of ongoing recession that has been under way since early to mid-Holocene time. It is not a consequence of anthropogenic warming or recent sea level rise. In other words, the future of the WAIS may have been predetermined when grounding-line retreat was triggered in early Holocene time. Continued recession and perhaps even complete disintegration of the WAIS within the present interglacial period could well be inevitable.”

      IPCC TAR reported that there was a very strong “consensus” that loss of Antarctic ice was “very unlikely” to cause 21st century impacts:
      “it is now widely agreed that major loss of grounded ice, and accelerated sea level rise, is very unlikely during the 21st century. An interdisciplinary panel of international experts applying the techniques of risk assessment to the future evolution of WAIS concluded that there is a 98% chance that WAIS will not collapse in the next 100 years, defined as a change that contributes at least 10 mm/yr to global sea level change (Vaughan and Spouge, 2001). The probability of a contribution to sea level (exceeding 0.5 m) by the year 2100 was 5%. These results are broadly consistent with an earlier assessment by Titus and Narayanan (1996) based on a US-only panel, who found a 5% chance of a 0.16 m contribution and 1% chance of a 0.3 m contribution to sea level rise from WAIS by 2100. We note that Vaughan and Spouge also report a probability of 5% for WAIS giving a sea level fall exceeding 0.4 m within the same time frame, while Titus and Narayanan give 0.18 m.”

      But perhaps the science isn’t “settled” after all.

      Of the various takes on West Antarctic ice sheet stability, the position of Conway et al 1999 seems particularly convincing to me though the result is ironic.

      It seems entirely possible to me that continuation of Holocene-like climate for he next 3-15 millennia might well result in continued erosion of the West Antarctic ice sheet. In the past, sea level rise has reversed when the world reverted back into an ice age and continental ice sheets formed. If the only choice was between lowering sea level through formation of continental ice sheets and continued erosion of the WAIS (and ~3 meters of additional sea level rise), maybe we’d be better off adapting to the rise over the next 3-15000 years.

      It is not at all obvious that the present sea level rise is “anthropogenic”. In an inline comment at RC, Steig said “I think the evidence that the current retreat of Antarctic glaciers is owing to anthropogenic global warming is weak. The literature is mixed on this, about 50% of experts agree with me on this.” Nonetheless, Steig and other specialists who agree that the link between current retreat and AGW is “weak” seem to be content to let recent alarmist claims scare the politicians. Steig’s comment would be worth quoting.

  25. Re: “Ancient trees emerge from frozen forest tomb in the Arctic (relates to decadal to millennial scale variations in the Arctic)”

    That’s likely a reference to Mendenhall Glacier which has been in retreat for decades. Direct connection to AGW? Good question.

    The trees were covered over 1000 years ago when Mendenhall Glacier was advancing.

    Taku Glacier, located south of Juneau, is currently triggering this same process as it advances over a modern forest of cottonwood trees, offering the researchers a chance to observe the process in real time, Connor said.

    Unlike the growing Taku Glacier, which accumulates snow at a high elevation and thus is well situated to grow, the lower-elevation Mendenhall Glacier has retreated by an average rate of about 170 feet (52 m) per year since 2005.

    There’s no question that warmer regional temps result in glacial retreat. But is it unprecedented or irreversible? Again, good question.

    During the middle Holocene (8.2–4.2 ka), glaciers retreated as the regional average temperature increased to a maximum between 7 and 5 ka, as reflected in most proxy types. Following the middle Holocene thermal maximum, temperatures decreased starting between 4 and 3 ka, signaling the onset of Neoglacial cooling. Glaciers in the Brooks and Alaska Ranges advanced to their maximum Holocene extent as lakes generally rose to modern levels. Temperature differences for averaged 500-year time steps typically ranged by 1–2 °C for individual records in the Arctic Holocene database, with a transition to a cooler late Holocene that was neither abrupt nor spatially coherent.

    • oplusa – what does this picture tell you about forests at elevations above the toe of the Mendenhall Glacier today? Is it warmer up there?

      • Note the above reference to nearby Taku Glacier, which is increasing due to current local conditions.

        I’m not saying that local conditions are warmer or colder today. What I am saying is that claiming that the recent exposure of tree stumps is conclusive proof of AGW is a simplistic and possibly incorrect position.

      • I think they’re claiming it demonstrates ACO2 possibly has no discernible effect, and that whole thing falls within the envelope of natural variability.

      • David Springer

        “Is it warmer up there?”

        In the summer, you bet it’s warmer. The valley floor composed of ice is necessarily 32F or lower year round otherwise it would be water not ice.

  26. I think i saw at your site first, and it is a good joke:

  27. “oceans rising faster than any time in the last 2800 years”

    I recall looking at this paper when it came out recently. This is the usual apples and oranges trick. The proxies do not have the same temporal resolution as the recent data interval they are being compared to. It is Marcot et al 2014 all over again.

    Proxies have a blurring , low-pass filtering effect which reduces the magnitude any excursions. This can be a very large attenuation , not a few percent.

    Furthermore it is quite common for such studies to average several proxies together. Here non correlated, spurious errors again cancel each other to reduce variability on all scales. Not comparable with more controlled recent measurements.

    Graph from Jevrejeva derived from tide gauges:

    The acceleration happend BEFORE the beginning of the 20th c. and has been level of slightly reducing since 1950.

    Even if there is a greater annual rate of increase ‘now’ (cheery-pick what that means ! ) it can not be attributed to anthropogenic GW. That is a problem since IPCC says it has caused more than half the warming since 1960 yet we do not see any evidence of this in tide gauge data. Two possible conclusions: there is equal and opposite natural variation ( longer term than the obvious circa 60y ) or the there is NO detectable AGW effect at all.

    • thx this is helpful

      • In addition to climategrog’s very important point (re the apples and oranges trick) : “oceans rising faster than any time in the last 2800 years” is a cherry-pick. Why pick “2800 years”? Oceans are currently rising at less than 3mm per year. The 4th IPCC report (AR4) states in WG1 Ch.5 FAQ5.1 “Global sea level rose by about 120 m during the several millennia that followed the end of the last ice age (approximately 21,000 years ago)”, 120m in 21,000 years averages 5.7mm per year. So the current rise rate is only half the average rate of the last 21,000 years. Obviously in some millenia the rise rate will be faster and in some millenia it will be slower. In the Eemian (about 130,000 to 115,000 years ago), sea levels were it seems 5-7m higher than today (eg, “Geology and Sea Level”). Put all that together with the “apples and oranges trick”, and the “oceans rising faster” scare disappears.

  28. OT :

    I think we will see a major eruptions before July. More on that idea later.

    • My prediction: By 2020 a major volcano erupts and is seen as the major reason that temperatures are flat for the next decade. Must have some excuse and gives all sides a good reason to debate the influence of AGW for a few more years.

  29. William McClenney


    The argument regarding sea level rise over the past 2,800 years is really a trees vs. the forest paradigm. It is one thing to fret over sea level rise rates etc. over the past 2,800 years, it is another question altogether as to how relevant such a discussion actually is when one considers when we are having this discussion.

    As of 2016, the Holocene is 11,719 years old (+/-99 years), based on the end of the Younger Dryas. Of the last 8 interglacials, only one (MIS-11 has lasted longer than about half of a precession cycle. The precession cycle varies between 19 and 23kyrs, and we are at the 23kyr part of the cycle right now, making 11,500 half.

    So the question really is what normally happens when an interglacial approaches its end with respect to sea level?

    “Rapid changes in sea level and associated destabilization of climate at the turbulent close of the last interglacial maximum appear to be recorded directly in the geomorphology, stratigraphy, and sedimentary structures of carbonate platform islands in the Bahamas. Considered together, the observations presented here suggest a rapid rise, short crest, and rapid fall of sea level at the close of 5e.

    “The lesson from the last interglacial “greenhouse” in the Bahamas is that the closing of that interval brought sea-level changes that were rapid and extreme. This has prompted the remark that between the greenhouse and the icehouse lies a climatic “madhouse”!

    conclude Neuman and Hearty (1996)

    “During the last interglacial period, 127–116 kyr ago, global mean sea level reached a peak of 5–9 mabove present-day sea level. However, the exact timing and magnitude of ice sheet collapse that contributed to the sea-level highstand is unclear. Here we explore this timing using stratigraphic and geomorphic mapping and uranium-series geochronology of fossil coral reefs and geophysical modelling of sea-level records from Western Australia. We show that between 127 and 119 kyr ago, eustatic sea level remained relatively stable at about 3–4m above present sea level. However, stratigraphically younger fossil corals with U-series ages of 118:11:4 kyr are observed at elevations of up to 9.5m above present mean sea level. Accounting for glacial isostatic adjustment and localized tectonics, we conclude that eustatic sea level rose to about 9m above present at the end of the last interglacial.”

    This paper may also be of value here:

    Widespread support may be found in the literature regarding apparently at least 2 strong thermal events attending the end of the last interglacial. The second one appears to have been the stronger and set the sea level highstand for the entire half-precession cycle long Eemian interglacial.

    “In terrestrial records from Central and Eastern Europe the end of the Last Interglacial seems to be characterized by evident climatic and environmental instabilities recorded by geochemical and vegetation indicators. The transition (MIS 5e/5d) from the Last Interglacial (Eemian, Mikulino) to the Early Last Glacial (Early Weichselian, Early Valdai) is marked by at least two warming events as observed in geochemical data on the lake sediment profiles of Central (Grobern, Neumark–Nord, Klinge) and of Eastern Europe (Ples). Results of palynological studies of all these sequences indicate simultaneously a strong increase of environmental oscillations during the very end of the Last Interglacial and the beginning of the Last Glaciation. This paper discusses possible correlations of these events between regions in Central and Eastern Europe. The pronounced climate and environment instability during the interglacial/glacial transition could be consistent with the assumption that it is about a natural phenomenon, characteristic for transitional stages. Taking into consideration that currently observed ‘‘human-induced’’ global warming coincides with the natural trend to cooling, the study of such transitional stages is important for understanding the underlying processes of the climate changes.”

    This is not unusual, consider the end of MIS-11, the Holsteinian interglacial:

    “A warmest 32,000 years-long period and three following warm/cold cycles occurred synchronously on land and ocean. The end of the warmest period sees the glacial inception which coincides with the replacement of warm deciduous forest by conifer (pine-fir) expansion in northwestern Iberia and, consequently, with the southward migration of the tree line in high latitudes in response to declining summer insolation.”

    Apologies for the long post. This is actually just a taste on what is available supporting what happens at the ends of the most recent interglacials. The real question here should be apparent: How is one to detect an anthropogenic signature in the most absolute measure of climate change, sea level, amidst the normal natural climatic madhouse that typically attends the end extreme interglacials?


    • David Springer

      “How is one to detect an anthropogenic signature in the most absolute measure of climate change, sea level, amidst the normal natural climatic madhouse that typically attends the end extreme interglacials?”

      By fiat.


  30. HADCET? 143rd warmest March.

  31. Judith:

    You will probably keep this post in moderation.

    HOWEVER, the REAL cause of global warming is simply the removal of SO2 aerosols from the troposphere due to global Clean Air Efforts.

    The Climate Sensitivity for their removal is approx. .02 deg. C. of temperature change for each net Megatonne of change in net global amounts of anthropogenic SO2 emissions.

    Using the above relationship, it is possible to project the average global temperature for ANY year from 1975-present (for which the net amount of S02 emissions is known) with an accuracy of less than a tenth of a degree Centigrade. This is over a 40 year period, and is so precise that .there is simply NO room for any additional warming from greenhouse gasses. CO2 has NO Climatic effect!

    This model is supported by the phenomenon of Global Brightening, which began simultaneously the reduction in SO2 aerosol emissions, and which ended around 2000 when Eastern emissions began to offset Western reductions in emissions.

    These reduced emissions allowed sunshine to strike the earth with greater intensity, causing the onset of global warming.

    The elevated temperatures of 2014-2016 are caused by the continued reduction in SO2 aerosol emissions, and CANNOT be reduced by any method short of re-polluting the air..

    Unless continued reductions in SO2 emissions are halted, we will quickly exceed the expected 2 deg. C. threshold for additional warming.

    Probably too late for you to incorporate any of the above in your forthcoming presentation, but you do need to keep it in mind!

    • In a way you may be not too far wrong but the effect can be clearly linked to major volcanic eruptions.

      In so far as it is true for reduced aerosols, I think the processes which purged the volcanic aerosols cleaned out a lot of pollution too. Mainly from the stratosphere.

      • Climategrog:

        You state that “the effect can clearly be linked to major volcanic eruptions”.

        Only in the sense that warming occurs as the volcanic aerosols that have initially caused cooling settle out of the atmosphere.

        .02 times the net amount of reduction in global anthropogenic SO2 aerosols between a given year and a later year will give the amount of anomalous warming that has occurred between the two years. This may not be the same temperature that NASA reports, if there is an El Nino, a La Nina, or a volcanic eruption in the picture. When the temperature change due to these natural events is accounted for, then the temperatures will match. .

  32. Dr. Curry, re extreme weather events. In California alone, 28 major floods occurred pre-1970 according to Table C-1 of a document published by State of California Department of Water Resources titled “California’s Flood Future, Recommendations for Managing the State’s Flood Risk, Attachment C: History of California Flooding.” The earliest major flood on the list is from 1772.

    Of the 28 listed floods, 3 were from tsunamis and 3 were from failed dams, leaving 22 from rain events. Those 22 are not all of the floods pre-1970, only the major floods. Eight of the pre-1970 floods were statewide in scope. It is difficult to imagine greater severity.

  33. Judith,
    Sorry I’m not competent to help on hard facts, but here’s one I use often to “set the stage” for more open-minded exchanges:

    “You can see a lot just by observing.“
    Yogi Berra

    Best regards and thanks for your tutorials, Paul o

  34. Our understanding of circulation regimes in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans suggest that the ‘pause’ will continue at least another decade, perhaps into the 2030’s …

    Professor Curry, are you going to revisit this one?

    • That phrase is still there in this year’s version. I am surprised she is sticking with it.

      • The pause will continue at least another decade
        (into the 2030’s?); El Ninos weak and infrequent

        “My God, what a struggle it is to die.” – Generalissimo Francisco Paulino Hermenegildo Teódulo Franco Bahamonde

        “Generalissimo Francisco Franco is still dead.” – Saturday Night LIve

    • I’m changing ‘pause’ to ‘slowdown’. I don’t think ‘warmest year’ from El Nino will change the overall trajectory much, and we will be flipping to the cool phase of the AMO presumably within the next decade.

      Re revisiting my ‘stadium wave’ based prediction, i figure 2020 would be about the right time for that (need another 5 yrs to put pause and warmest year in perspective of what happens next)

      • That’s a reasonable change, though I think you’re wrong on all of it.

      • The global temperature has risen 0.7 C in one 60-year cycle, so that would be the component that is not the stadium wave.

      • stevenreincarnated

        Pause is fine. The only real increase this century has been from reduced ice coverage. North Atlantic is still losing heat content. In 5 years they will probably be screaming that kriging was an evil denier plot and it was ridiculous to add such a volatile area to global temperatures. If not then give them 10.

  35. Relative to the Paris agreement:

    I believe that the structure of the agreement will result in an increase of CO2 emissions rather than a decrease. The agreement places economic burdens on developed countries where pollution control laws, technology, and implementation are mature. This will result in further transfer of manufacturing to developing countries where there are virtually no controls thereby increasing not only their CO2 emissions, but, all other forms of pollution as well..

    The question is-If Climate Change is really such an urgent problem that needs to be brought under control immediately as advocates have said, then why is the agreement structured in a way that will increase emissions?

    IMHO the Paris agreement has nothing to do with Climate Change and everything to do with the transfer of >$1T from developed to developing countries.

    • Well the initial transfer will be to a UN slush fund , not to 3rd world or anywhere else.

      The UN and its officers are immune from prosecution under any jurisdiction of any country in the world so there will be no oversight and no accountability. Doesn’t this seem like a potential problem to anyone?

      Especially since they seem rather reluctant even to act against UN troops abusing small children when on UN missions. They’d apparently rather sweep it all under the carpet than act honorably.

      The $1tn fund, my friends, is the treasury for their unelected supranational government. A certain amount of this will be given to compliant dictators from developing nations, less a handling commission to cover expenses, of course.

      This is being set up from the outset with zero accountability and oversight. After all it’s only $100bn per year …. EVERY year. What could possibly go wrong?

    • It is more about the transfer of money to the UN, developing country leaders will get their share. It will be used to prevent the use of fossil fuels to improve the lives of the people.

  36. Further to sea level rise, here is the latest (2015) reproposal of the GRASP mission (as yet unfunded AFAIK) They note the uncertainties around measuring acceleration in the rise.

    • The plot shown has two significant bends in the data. The first around 1940 fro 1mm/yr to 2mm/yr and the second around 2000 to 3mm/yr. yet when I look at Battery park records I see an absolutely linear trend with no acceleration. Why the difference

      • Jim, I think the issue merging tidal gauge and altimeter reading, and having a vertically stable basis for both. See here:

      • Thanks for the reference. It still begs the question of where they got their data from before satellite measurements. Their data shows that prior to 1940 the trend was 1mm/yr, but the Battery Park data shows 2.8mm/yr since the mid 1800’s.

      • Jim

        Averages are one of the curses of climate science as they hide all sorts of nuances.

        There were high water stands in the 5th century, the 12th century the 16th century and, once the LIA ice started to melt from around 1750-according to Gordon Manley-there has been a 250 year long general rise.

        However Sea levels are not universally increasing. In many places they are static or falling. The rate of change varies enormously and is further compounded by any changes in land levels, often as big as the sea level change . Here is the NOAA data

        Whilst the link shows the US for obvious reasons, it is possible to look at each global region. I do not think it is possible to discern any valid ‘average’ change bearing in mind all the nuances and it would be more useful to look at regional changes rather than any global ones. . In addition there is now a sizeable input from water abstraction which should be incorporated in the recent totals.


  37. David L. Hagen

    Tropical Mid-Tropospheric Temperature Variations: Models vs Observations
    Judith. Strongly encourage including John Christy’s comparisons showing the 3 fold overprediction in 35 year (1979-2015) CMIP5 model predictions for the tropical tropospheric temperatures versus the actual satellite and balloon temperatures. See his Feb. 2016 Testimony, House Committee on Space, Science & Technology especially the Fig. on page 13.
    Christy highlights the greatest failure – by a factor of 3 – of “anthropogenic warming signature” predicted by CMIP5 models versus the reality of actual tropospheric temperature change as measured by 3 satellite data sets and 4 balloon sets.
    Christy states:

    In the tropical comparison here, the disparity between the models and observations is even greater, with models on average warming this atmospheric region by a factor of three times greater than in reality. Such a result re-enforces the implication above that the models have much improvement to undergo before we may have confidence they will provide information about what the climate may do in the future or even why the climate varies as it does. For the issue at hand, estimates of how the global temperature might be affected by emission reductions from regulation would be exaggerated and not reliable.

    3) Climate Impact of Regulations (i.e. Paris) Will Not be Attributable or Detectable

    . . .impact on global temperature for current and proposed reductions in greenhouse gases will be tiny at best. . . .
    to make the point of how minuscule the regulatory impact will be, we shall simply go way beyond reality and cause the United States to vanish. . .
    We also used the value of the equilibrium climate sensitivity as determined from empirical techniques of 1.8 °C. After 50 years, the impact as
    determined by these model calculations would be only 0.05 to 0.08 °C – an amount less
    than that which the global temperature fluctuates from month to month. . . .with U.S. emissions comprising 14 percent to 17 percent of the 2015 global emissions.

    Physics requires 6 sigma for new particle discoveries. Engineers seek to have sub percent and expect at least tens of percent accuracy with validated models. How is “climate science” anywhere close to being “science” when it presents 300% failure as within “95% high confidence”?!

    Systemic Bias – Type B Uncertainty
    IPCC / climate science has a systemic ignorance of or bias against reporting uncertainties to the international standard Guidance for the Evaluation of Uncertainties in Measurement JCGM 100:2008
    While typical statistical Type A errors are somewhat addressed, there appears to be a systemic abhorrence of addressing the Type B errors. Christy’s Tropospheric Temperature vs Models graph shows
    Type A errors:
    (CMIP5 trend-Observations trend) =~ 2 sigma of CMIP5
    Type B errors:
    ((CMIP5 trend-Observations trend)/(Observations trend) = ~ 3 !!!
    >> 3x Observation trend sigma

    Fig. 3 – average CMIP-5 trend +0.214 deg C/decade
    vs 3 Satellite dataset 0.091 deg C/decade
    vs 4 Balloon data sets 0.079 det C/decade.

    I.e. 335 year predictions / evidence ~ 250%.

    PS 4 Decadal trends (deg C/decade) of four temperature datasets over the oceans from 20 deg S. to 60 deg N for varying periods ending in 2014.

    PS other Christy graphs

  38. Another important sea level resource is the Pacific Sea Level Monitoring Project operated by Australia’s BOM, using measures of veritical stability of tidal guages.

  39. David L. Hagen

    Re: “extreme weather events”
    See John Christy’s 2 Feb Appendix A: extracts from his 8 December 2015 Senate Testimony
    Especially page 16:
    “Average Number of Daily High Temperatures at 982 USHCN Stations Exceeding 100 deg F per year 1895-2014.”

    Pg 17 “Number of Wildfires”
    Pg 18 “Global areal extent of 5 levels of drought for 1982-2012.”

    “Monthly Fraction of US with Very Wet (floods) or Very Dry (drought) Conditions Jan 1895 – Feb 2015”

    Contrast P 19 World Grain Production 1961-2012 FAO

    Original 8 Dec 2015 Testimony of John R. Christy, US Senate Committee on Commerce, Science & Transportation, Subcommittee on Space, Science and Competitiveness

  40. “2015: hottest year”

    We have just had a major El Nino event: we are near the peak of the circa 60y pseudo-periodicity; the world has been generally warming for about 300y.

    It is hardly surprising that last year was one of the hottest years in the record and this is all without a slightest need to invoke AGW.

    The early 20th c. warming can not be attributed to AGW, neither can the LIA. Neither does sea level show a rate of increase any greater during latter half of 20th c. than it did in the earlier warming period.

    2016 will also be “one of the hottest” with a mean sea level very similar to this year, because all these metrics are heavily autoregressive and cannot just drop back down to 1900 levels. ( Luckily ).

    El Nino is dissipating rapidly now and 2016 will likely be slightly cooler, but it will still be ‘one of the hottest’.

    Until we can explain the LIA and the early 20th c. warming there is no need and thus no justification for invoking GHG/AGW to explain even part of the recent warming.

    Despite Trenberth’s attempt to redefine the scientific method, the null hypothesis is still that it is natural warming and there is no observational reason to reject that hypothesis.

    • What makes you think there was an LIA?
      when was it?
      where was it?
      how do you know?
      I love when skeptics drop their reasoning skills and accept the existence of a world wide LIA as if it were settled science.

      “Until we can explain the LIA and the early 20th c. warming there is no need and thus no justification for invoking GHG/AGW to explain even part of the recent warming.”

      This is a non sequitor. That is, The current warming can all be caused by AGW and we can still have gaps in knowledge about the past.
      Nothing logically follows from our GAPS in knowledge about the causes of the purported LIA, And further the early 20th century warming does have a human caused element.

      To see the logic fail merely write out your claim in individual statements and you’ll quickly see the logic gap.

      Put another way, the best explanation we have does a better job of explaining the LIA, the early 2oth century warming and the current warming
      than any other explanation. Absent a better account, it is rational to accept the best account.

      • Don’t Vostok ice cores show the LIA as well as the MWP and other warm and cold periods? Is there a problem with the more recent ice? I don’t see how there could be. What do you think?

      • Crop records
        glacier records
        records from landed estate/manorial records
        alms records
        grape records
        written records
        pictorial records
        instrumental records
        building records

        If it was a hoax it was all on a far grander, deeper, longer and more sophisticated scale than those (not me) who claim modern warming is a hoax.


      • I can’t take stats and graphs seriously (especially those that assume min/max=actual temps, as if cloud has just been on the sidelines whistling Dixie) but I don’t see the harm in taking hints and the odd rough indication from such things.

        This is a cute graph on cherry blossom times in Japan, the sort of blurry thing Lamb had to work with. It seems to reflect his opinion (at the time) that East Asia was warmer during the European Migration Period but cooler during Europe’s MWP. Not sure that more recent work on stalactites, timber and cultivation species etc would bear this out for China, however.

        Really, all this indicates is that climate changes, and quite a lot. Which most of us already knew, especially after Lamb.

        – And Then There’s Cloud

      • Hey ATTC …

        ‘ The white clouds are shifting,
        The blue sky is lifting.’

        (Serf’s nephew, aged four … many moons ago.)

      • If it were that easy, somebody would write the paper. it would be an extremely important paper. For the author, it would be a career maker.

        Apparently obody can write the paper… a career maker… because it is not that simple.

        So you guys try to do an end run. It’s political.

      • jch

        ‘its political’

        what on earth do you believe our politics to be?


      • The assertion, unsupported by science, that the MWP has been demonstrated to be as warm, or warmer, than the present is a political assertion. No such demonstration has been made… because it is apparently beyond the capability of current science. And yet, the assertion continues to be made as though it is supported by science. Because it supports a political position. Maybe Lamar Smith can investigate.

      • An ikaite record of late Holocene climate at the Antarctic Peninsula by Zunli Lu, Rosalind E.M. Rickaby, Hilary Kennedy, Paul Kennedy, Richard D. Pancost, Samuel Shaw, Alistair Lennie, Julia Wellner, John B. Anderson Earth and Planetary Science Letters Volumes 325–326, 1 April 2012, Pages 108–115

        Calcium carbonate can crystallize in a hydrated form as ikaite at low temperatures. The hydration water in ikaite grown in laboratory experiments records the δ18O of ambient water, a feature potentially useful for reconstructing δ18O of local seawater. We report the first downcore δ18O record of natural ikaite hydration waters and crystals collected from the Antarctic Peninsula (AP), a region sensitive to climate fluctuations. We are able to establish the zone of ikaite formation within shallow sediments, based on porewater chemical and isotopic data. Having constrained the depth of ikaite formation and δ18O of ikaite crystals and hydration waters, we are able to infer local changes in fjord δ18O versus time during the late Holocene. This ikaite record qualitatively supports that both the Medieval Warm Period and Little Ice Age extended to the Antarctic Peninsula. [bolding mine]

        A more general list (not peer reviewed AFAIK) may be found here

      • Next you might suggest to blame it all on that dirty old snowflake, V. Putin? This can’t be rocket science to a man like you. It is simply old, fashioned, politics to control the world. See?

      • JCH:

        If it were that easy, somebody would write the paper.

        The assertion, unsupported by science, that the MWP has been demonstrated to be as warm, or warmer, than the present is a political assertion.

        A simple search on Google Scholar for “medieval climate optimum” returned over 16,000 results.

        “Little Ice Age” returned over 1.8 million results.

        There’s probably a paper in there somewhere that supports the assertion.

      • JCH, This appears to be a false assertion about the assertion on your part:

        “The assertion, unsupported by science, that the MWP has been demonstrated to be as warm, or warmer, than the present is a political assertion. No such demonstration has been made… because it is apparently beyond the capability of current science.”

        “Both water masses were ~0.9°C warmer during the Medieval Warm period than during the Little Ice Age and ~0.65° warmer than in recent decades.”


        Observed increases in ocean heat content (OHC) and temperature are robust indicators of global warming during the past several decades. We used high-resolution proxy records from sediment cores to extend these observations in the Pacific 10,000 years beyond the instrumental record. We show that water masses linked to North Pacific and Antarctic intermediate waters were warmer by 2.1 ± 0.4°C and 1.5 ± 0.4°C, respectively, during the middle Holocene Thermal Maximum than over the past century. Both water masses were ~0.9°C warmer during the Medieval Warm period than during the Little Ice Age and ~0.65° warmer than in recent decades. Although documented changes in global surface temperatures during the Holocene and Common era are relatively small, the concomitant changes in OHC are large.

      • thanks for this link, i don’t recall seeing this paper before

      • Your welcome

      • interesting links, thx

      • JCH
        There are enough papers about the MWP to meet a test of reasonableness. They identify areas beyond Northern Europe. At some point when there are enough clues to suggest a condition existed, then simple common sense should dictate the conclusions you make from the evidence. Of course an open and motivated mind also helps to seek out the citations in the first place.

      • No there are not. If there were, somebody would put it together. It’s a career maker. Go down in history stuff. They have tried; they have failed. Nobody has demonstrated the globe was as warm as present during the Medieval Warm Period.

        I really do not mind if somebody steps forward and does that. It would no significance, but it would be nice to have an answer.

        An end run is not an answer.

      • Ralph Waldo Emerson — ‘A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.

      • What makes you think there was an LIA?

        Perhaps. Lots of ’em.

        Now, we’d agree, proxies are inherently uncertain.

        But given the fact that so many different proxies, using totally independent measures, somewhat agree makes LIA and MWP appear likely.

      • Lol. Go make a temperature reconstruction. Show your data and code. Mosher only bites people who are wrong, so you have nothing to worry about, right?

      • LIA and MWP appear likely…

        That;’s why Gavin Schmidt called them “putative”. So what? Seriously, are you also a polymath?

        Full Definition of putative

        1: commonly accepted or supposed

        2; assumed to exist or to have existed

        Is that what you think is issue? Their existence?

      • Why do you find the LIA and MWP so threatening?

        They don’t contravert, or even contradict AGW.

        What they do is remind us that centennial scale natural variability is large, but the IPCC already told us that:

        They’re only a threat if one is in love with a preconception of how significant AGW is and how we gotta combat global warmin’.

      • I don’t find them threatening. Can you read?

      • JCH
        The positions of you and Mosher are bordering on the absurd. The literature is replete with citations about the LIA and MWP. I thought you were actually current with the science. Just do a little research and read hard, real hard. Or is the gullibility factor taking over? Go sell it over at Huffington Post. They will believe anything.

      • I don’t read the Huffpo you supercilious snot.

        It’s really easy, cite a widely accepted group of papers on Google Scholar that conclude the MWP was warmer, on a global basis and at the same time, than it presently is on a global basis and at the same time.

        A cave in Africa in xxx2 plus a coral off Australia in xx20 is really interesting. It is also insufficient.

      • We find no evidence for any earlier periods in the last two
        millennia with warmer conditions than the post-1990 period

        — in agreement with previous similar studies 1–4,7. The main implication
        of our study, however, is that natural multicentennial climate
        variability may be larger than commonly thought, and that much
        of this variability could result from a response to natural changes in
        radiative forcings. This does not imply that the global warming in
        the last few decades 15,19 has been caused by natural forcing factors
        alone, as model experiments that use natural-only forcings fail to reproduce this warming 15,23,27,30. Nevertheless, our findings
        underscore a need to improve scenarios for future climate
        change by also including forced natural variability — which could
        either amplify or attenuate anthropogenic climate change

        So MWP not as warm as post 1990s. More natural variability than prior studies, but it cannot explain current warming. Natural variability cannot make it worse if it cannot cool, and it has not cooled since the 19th century, and it can make it worse… look outside.

        I love it when Google Scholar affirms me.

      • Steve McIntyre

        IPCC AR5 accepts the concept of “Little Ice Age”, using 1450-1850 as dates. It also uses the concept of “Medieval Climate Anomaly”. The counterattack on these concepts by Jones and Bradley seems to have been abandoned by the “consensus”, though counterattacks continue by individual scientists who deny the consensus on this point.

    • @Greg “It is hardly surprising that last year was one of the hottest years in the record and this is all without a slightest need to invoke AGW”

      The record is not of sufficient length for making any hypothesis about the future trend of the Earth’s climate, globally nor regionally.

      • “The record” being a data series less than 0.00000001 per cent of the total elapsed time since the Earth has been formed? I would be interested in your view on how relevant the “the record” data series really is. IMO the series is non-ergodic in any case and like economic series, not amenable to prediction of future trends anyway.

  41. Benjamin Zycher

    Hi Judith. Here is a link to EPA’s chart on the Palmer Index; it can be cut and pasted into powerpoint. But it ends in 2014.

    Best, Ben

    Benjamin Zycher John G. Searle Chair American Enterprise Institute 202-862-4883 office 818-383-6499 mobile ________________________________

  42. JC, thanks for your contribution and good luck at the panel.

  43. Dr. Curry good luck.

    Regarding attribution of extreme events, the academies statement reads:

    “Confidence is strongest in attributing types of extreme events that are influenced by climate change through a well-understood physical mechanism—for example, the more frequent heat waves that are closely connected to human-caused global temperature increases.”

    This strikes me as quite wrong and bereft of climatology.

    The thinking seems to be that global warming increases temperature and thus increases the likelihood that a given absolute temperature level will be exceeded.

    1. But a heatwave is thought of as a protracted period of weather in which high temperatures relative to a normal temperature, not an absolute. Heatwaves occur in different seasons and different locations making the relative variance, not absolute temperature the significant metric.

    2. As such, heatwaves are dynamic events, typically involving a locally stagnant air mass many times the result of a blocking anti-cyclone Such events are not predictable by models for any time greater than one week, so there is no basis for claiming a change in the frequency of heatwaves in the context of anthropogenic
    global warming.

    3. The same can be said of cold outbreaks. High amplitude Rossby waves create cold waves. It is true that the absolute temperatures may change, but there is no basis for predicting any change in the frequency of cold outbreaks because such events cannot be accurately predicted by models.

    The academies rightfully back away from definitive statements about other events ( because they are similarly derived from unpredictable dynamics ). I hope you can raise questions about whether there is any basis for attribution.

  44. catweazle666

    Perhaps it would be worth pointing out that as the entire Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming hypothesis is entirely dependent on feedback from increased atmospheric water vapour as increased CO2 on its own is incapable of producing the necessary temperature increases due to the logarithmic relationship between concentration and ability to capture photons of atmospheric CO2, as the analyses of the NASA NVAP data show no evidence of this increased atmospheric water vapour, the entire hypothesis is effectively dead in the water?

    In fact, Solomon et al shows a decrease in atmospheric water vapour of ~10% in the decade post-2000.

  45. I’ve posted a draft of my presentation at (added to the main post)

    I would appreciate any comments/suggestions. I HUGELY appreciate your input, you will see many of your suggestions/plots incorporated.

    • But we find this in it –
      “(From the IPCC) It is extremely likely that more than half of the observed
      increase in global average surface temperature from 1951 to 2010 was
      caused by [humans]. (Your comment) The best estimate of the human induced contribution is similar to the observed warming over this period.”
      No, it doesn’t mean that at all. It means the tail of the distribution is near 50%. The center is actually closer to 100% (see Gavin’s representation).

      • Jim D,
        That isn’t Judith’s comment – it’s the AR5 text. It’s awkwardly phrased, but I believe they do meanthat the best estimate is 100% (and it can be higher).

      • It is extremely likely that human influence has been
        the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th century. IPCC SPM

        This usually means a cause without which the outcome – in this case:warming – would not have happened. Or, 100% anthropogenic.

      • NS, thanks, yes, I misattributed that statement, and it does mean the best estimate is near 100%. I am sensitized to the thinking that greater than half means probably 51% because I saw that thinking again from Mario Loyola in his American Interest piece that Judith said she might post.

      • Jim D, you say…global average surface temperature from 1951 to 2010 was…”

        The Vostok ice cores don’t work for you? What is your problem the data, time, shape, range, precision? AGW types never address simple questions about the available conflicting evidence? Nothing on 420,000 years worth of ice cores coming from a depth of some 3.3 klicks straight down to an ancient fresh water lake, I have read. Nothing about the weather modification programs around the globe… all your graphs only cover a drop in the bucket as far as your timelines go. Say weather modification does not exist and has no affect. Say you chart is better than Vostok ice. Put your mouth where your money is. At some point you all need to face reality. The mask is coming off from what I have been reading. We will all know more facts about shell companies the owners and their values. 2.6 terabytes of data should provide a bunch of global gossip for a real long time.

    • Excellent Judith.

      Still nothing scary.

      No evidence that any warming that does occur is damaging, let alone dangerous.

      No quantification of the hypothesised damages from any warming that does occur.

      No quantification of the likely climate damages that would be avoided by abatement policies and the cost of those policies.

      No quantification of the value avoided by reducing the probability of abrupt cooling.

    • Slide 33 might be broken into two slides. CO2 emissions slowdown and ENSO Index don’t seem to relate to one another.

    • I think there’s a typo here.

      Shouldn’t this read “1885 – 2015”?

    • Judith –

      ==> • First round commitments (by 2025-2030, continued to 2100)
      are estimated to cost $1 trillion per year, to prevent a
      maximum of 0.2oC warming by 2100 /i>

      So you’ve figured out how to calculate the related externalities? Would you mind sharing your evidence?

      • This estimate was published by bjorn lomborg

      • Judith –

        Do you look at his treatmen of externalities and determine that it is exhaustive and indisputable?

        Did Lomborg present evidence as to uncertainty, error bars, CIs and the like? If so, why didn’t you present it?

        If not, did you investigate the relevant literature for other estimates, so you can present a range? If not, why not?

        Are there no other “estimates” other than his?

        Consider your criticism of scientists who accept the views of the IPCC without further investigation.

        Just presenting one analysis, with no mention of uncertainties, when talking about modeling related to something as complex as economic projections, looks like advocacy to me.

        Perhaps you should consider the economic implications of externalities as described in this article?

      • Here’s a different perspective. (It has a repeated section at the top).
        Bottom line “While preventing global warming is relatively cheap, economists can’t even accurately estimate the accelerating costs of climate damages if we continue with business-as-usual.”

    • Judith, based on my background as a trial lawyer, I believe everything has to be kept as simple as possible. I realize that it is useful to graph temperatures as anomalies. (p.4) However, in addition to an anomaly graph, I would have a simple graph of what the actual temperatures are. 98% of people never even reference anomalies during the course of their work or their every day conversation. So the first graph dealing with temperatures that I would use be a simple graph showing how the temperatures have risen or fallen for any particular year. Then, if necessary, I would add the anomaly graph that is in your draft.

      On page 12 you make the statement that: “Comment: the temporal resolution of this analysis is insufficient to resolve periods of less than 50 years” I get the basic idea here, but I am still fuzzy on the exact meaning. I think that a more basic and more detailed explanation would be very helpful. I expect that many in the audience will not understand this.


    • Page 29. ensures, not insures.

  46. With respect to 2015 being the warmest year, that was not the case for the satellite data sets. Both RSS and UAH6.0beta5 had 2015 in third place. Below are the top 10 years for each satellite data set.


    1       1998    0.484
    2       2010    0.338
    3       2015    0.263
    4       2002    0.216
    5       2005    0.199
    6       2003    0.186
    7       2014    0.181
    8       2007    0.160
    9       2013    0.135
    10      2001    0.114


    1       1998    0.550
    2       2010    0.468
    3       2015    0.358
    4       2005    0.332
    5       2003    0.320
    6       2002    0.315
    7       2014    0.254
    8       2007    0.253
    9       2001    0.247
    10      2006    0.233
  47. Another option for Palmer Drought Severity Index, March through February. To save a graph on the NOAA site, right click on it. “Save current graph as PNG image” is an option.

  48. David Springer

    PDSI graph. If you use windows you can use the built-in snipping tool to capture anything that appears on your computer screen very very quickly. Then go here: and almost instantly turn it into a jpeg photo in cloud storage with a URL pointing to it. If you need to edit something snipped before saving I recommend freeware PAINT.NET and use the command under the “Edit” menu “paste into new image”.

  49. There’s sociologist Erving Goffman’s Lecture on Lectures, if you want to stand back from the event a little, which seems particularly apt for climate science:

    The lecturer and the audience join in affirming a single proposition. They join in affirming that organized talking can reflect, express, delineate, protray – if not come to grips with – the real world, and that, finally, there is a real, structured, somewhat unitary world out there to comprehend. (After all, that’s what distinguishes lectures from stints at the podium openly designed as entertainments.) And here, surely, we have the lecturer’s real contract. Whatever his substantive domain, whatever his school of thought, and whatever his inclination to piety or impiety, he signs the same agreement and he serves the same cause: to protect us from the wind, to stand up and seriously project the assumption that through lecturing, a meaningful picture of some part of the world can be conveyed, and that the talker can have access to a picture worth conveying.

    It is in this sense that every lecturer, merely by presuming to lecture before an audience, is a functionary of the cognitive establishment, actively suporting the same position: I repeat, that there is structure to the world, that this structure can be perceived and reported, and therefore, that speaking before an audience and listening to a speaker are reasonable things to be doing, and incidentally, of course, that the auspices of the occasion had warrant for making the whole thing possible.

    – Goffman, _Forms of Talk_, “The Lecture,” p.194-195

  50. David Wojick

    Not sure this matters but in the beginning of this post you have NARUC’s name wrong and a word missing.

  51. Judy, what about such a plot?

  52. I don’t know if this helps, but I would like to see some effort put forth in getting people to understand the natural range of variability and the statistical impossibility of identifying co2’s contribution and departure from NRV.

    Lachniet did an awesome speleothem study:

    There were follow up studies:

  53. Good quote from Ed Lorenz.

    Yaneer Bar-Yam: I have a leading question. One of the things that has bothered me about the popularization of the idea of the butterfly effect is that may people think that any butterfly that flaps his wings will cause a hurricane somewhere. And the issue of the difference between climate and weather is very apparent if you go to different places in the world. Some places you only get climate, and some places, like around here, you almost only get weather. So, could you comment on that?

    Ed Lorenz: Well, as I actually pointed out–and this paper I guess isn’t too readily available–it was a paper I gave at an AAAS meeting in 1971 in Washington, which wasn’t published at the time. I pointed out, I think in the first or second sentence there, that this seems like a rather weird question to ask, and then I put it into context by offering two other propositions.

    The first is that if a single flap of a butterfly’s wings can be instrumental in generating a tornado, the it can equally likely be instrumental in preventing a tornado that otherwise would have occurred.

    The second is that if this flap of the butterfly’s wings can be instrumental in generating a tornado, so can every other flap of every other butterfly in the world, not to mention the more powerful species, including our own.
    Right now the paradigm in the climate policy debate seems to be stuck in a mode of killing butterflies to prevent hurricanes…

    What the butterfly may do is change things from one member of the ensemble to another member of the ensemble since they can be pretty close together at the initial time. But it doesn’t create new types of weather.

    • The policy paradigm seems to be stuck in a mode of killing all butterflies to prevent hurricanes.

      • don’t be silly, the recent drop in hurricane activity is due to neonicotinoids killing all the butterflies. If we don’ t ban them, our children just won’t know what hurricanes are !!

    • Oops. I also managed to include my thought in the book quote. Cut and paste mishap.

      “Right now the paradigm in the climate policy debate seems to be stuck in a mode of killing butterflies to prevent hurricanes…”

      Should not be there. That’s obviously mine, not Lorenz.

  54. Oops, typo in key part of quote: if a single flap of a butterfly’s wings can be instrumental in generating a tornado, then it can equally likely be instrumental in preventing a tornado that otherwise would have occurred.


    Atmospheric composition, yes. Global brightening ( changes to stratospheric ozone and aerosols ) induced by the last two major eruptions are clearly evidenced in the temperature of the lower stratosphere. The data does not have the massive weather disturbances of the troposphere and the signal is much clearer. The step change nature of the record is clear. This is not a straight line “trend”.

    According to NASA, after the particulate matter and aerosols have dropped out there was also a long-term depletion of stratospheric ozone ( 5 to 8% less after Pinatubo ) .

    A less opaque stratosphere lets more solar energy into the lower atmosphere. The late 20th c. warming was largely due to volcanism.

    Poorly structured multivariate regressions of multiple possible drivers ( or model tweaking which is even less objective ) has lead to a series of false attributions and incorrect sensitivity to the many ‘forcings’.

    The stratosphere is our biggest clue.

    We don’t have a hetrogenous mess of incompatible datasets, a mash of dozens of different factors which can be scaled in many ways giving thousands of permutations and making interpretation impossible.

    Each eruptions caused a step change in TLS. This implies a warming effect at the surface.

    Taking the clues provided by the stratosphere and using the water mass of extra-tropical southern hemisphere as a calorimeter we can note a similar pattern, with longer time constant due to ocean heat capacity.

    The pause in the stratosphere matches the pause in the troposphere because the cause is not CO2.

    When we get beyond drawing straight line “trends” through everything we measure we may start to advance our understanding.

    • There is perhaps too much concetration on the intractably messy and physically inconsistent surface record, yet we almost never see mention of the stratosphere, like this is some weird specialist area.

      In fact it is a much clearer record than the surface.

      Concentrating on the quicksands of the ever readjusted surface records is convenient to those wishing to see everything as trend plus “noise”. Any dataset you can find can be fitted as trend plus “noise”. And whether the ‘trend’ be up or down there will always be some contorted argument to suggest it is anthropogenic “climate change”.

      Tropical mid tropo temp is another important case. A clear “fingerprint” was predicted which has turned out to be barely detectable. Again showing models are grossly over-sensitive.

      I think the presentation would be enhanced by not restricting itself to the dubious, manipulated surface record.


    • good topic for a guest post

      • A guest post on this topic might also review Prof. Robock’s opinion that:

        In fact, we now understand that a series of large eruptions near the end of the 13th Century initiated the Little Ice Age, which only ended when humans started using the atmosphere as a sewer for the carbon dioxide resulting from burning coal, oil, and natural gas from the Industrial Revolution.

    • David Springer

      Really good topic for a guest post.

    • “We don’t have a hetrogenous mess of incompatible datasets, a mash of dozens of different factors which can be scaled in many ways giving thousands of permutations and making interpretation impossible.”

      The satellite record is plenty messy. But you actually have to look at the posted code for both RSS and UAH to understand that. You wont.
      nevertheless, the cooling rate in the strat is around .3K pper decade.
      Cooling as theory predicts.. due to GHG.
      It’s probably the best fingerprint we have.

      FWIW you should check out the permutations that RSS publishes of its record which show you the massive structural uncertainty in the satellite record. It’s not rocket science.

      • maksimovich1

        GHG have only a minor impact,in significance to ODS.

        sap 2014

        Between 1979 and 1995, the global mean lower stratospheric temperature decreased by about 1°C but has since remained approximately constant, consistent with the approximately constant ozone
        abundance. Greenhouse gas increases have only had a minor contribution to cooling in this region with volcanic aerosols driving episodic warming.

        The observed cooling of the Antarctic lower stratosphere since 1979 during austral spring is consistent with the average simulated cooling in models forced by observed ozone variations. There is a large range in the magnitude of the simulated cooling: chemistry-climate models that underestimate the ozone depletion also underestimate the cooling.
        In the middle and upper stratosphere, observed globally averaged temperatures decreased from 1979 to 2005, but the magnitude of the cooling is uncertain.

        While observations of upper stratospheric temperatures have continued since 2005 and indicate further cooling, there is currently no global satellite temperature record available for the upper stratosphere that would be homogeneous over the entire 1979 to 2013 period.

  56. Slide 21, the titles of both graphs do not match the dates on the axes’.

    It would probably also be good to have get in a comparison of emissions and concentrations. Bring up the point of sinks growing more than emissions.

    There also seems to be CO2 uptake inertia and biosphere growth “in the pipeline”.

  57. “It is necessary to state outright that we do not know why El Niño events begin. It’s not that the answer is obfuscated behind scientific jargon. It’s that we don’t know. Not only don’t we know, we’re not really that close to knowing.” Dr. William Kessler

  58. Average global temperature (°F), two datasets::

  59. Interesting title of the paper by Yuming Fu, et al.: “Unexpected decrease in yield and antioxidants in vegetable at very high CO2 levels.” The study was based on lettuce and Chinese cabbage.

    The findings showed significant increases in crop yields (and antioxidants) at high CO2 levels, peaking at 5x the current level of atmospheric CO2 concentration (2000 ppm instead of 400).

  60. Were I to be worried about glaciers or storms or the incantations of Mann, I would in truth, be worried about myself. If I look beyond myself, that is looking at a future of humankind, I would see an affirmation of our human self to succeed against adversity as well as bath in success.

    There is much harangue in literature and media about our species and yet, I find, a rainbow. That there is “light at the end of the tunnel”; or that, we cling to life itself tenaciously, resolutely, and, in the end, successfully. I am put off by cynicism and correctness. I embrace what can, and at times, what should be done. I find the current crop of “end of the world” speakers, just that, speakers, and certainly not doers.

    I have seen, and dwelt amongst the most desperate of our species. They, as no others on Madison Avenue in New York City, have hope for the future and embrace change. Believing in positive change in the future. These are not Christians of an era of long ago, rather, people, like you and me, who hope and pray they can persevere for the betterment of their children and their lives.

    I am reminded, that the people furthest from reality, reside in academia, government, and religious enclaves. These are the people who speak to us, and to whom we should listen the least. Listen to your heart. At times it may be wrong. Yet, in the long run, it is something with which we can live with because it is from us, and not them.

  61. Sorry to be late, I just remembered this collection of charts that may pertain:

    An assembly of charts to illustrate points made by Mike van Biezen in his recent essay.

  62. “SLR is THE Evidence for AGW:
    From the conclusions:
    ” Furthermore, the integrated character of GMSL causes an inherent difficulty in distinguishing natural variability from externally forced changes, since both are integrated by the ocean. These characteristics may compromise the value of GMSL as a ‘‘climate indicator’’ unless one is able to characterize fully one or both of these contributions.”

  63. Dr. Curry

    Either in a Presentation or Blog post, I’d like to see you clarify/expound on two points (I sincerely believe) you’ve made:

    (1) You’ve stated in numerous public venues that your “best guess” is that the human influence is about 50%. I believe you further clarified this above statement that it is somewhere between 25% and 75% (where I would guess the ~50% is a simple average of these end points).

    I just seems like you almost entirely focus on refuting opinions like Dr. Gavin Schmidt (100%). I also believe, your opinion is much, much different than people like Dr. Hagen (~0%).

    Finally, numerous people on CE have called me a liar when I’ve posted (1) above. Here’s a on the record chance to either confirm/dispel/clarify these charges.

    (2) On numerous occasions, you’ve spoken highly of “Fast Mitigation” (methane, black carbon, HFCs, Smog). Yet you rarely talk about this.

    Do you personally agree, disagree, or have no opinion (maybe not enough information?) on Nobel Prize winner Mario Molina’s (and others, like Dr. Ramanathan) quote:

    “If we reduce our emissions of methane 50%, black carbon 90% and fully replace HFCs by 2030, then we’ll cut in half projected global warming over the next 35 years.”

    • “If we reduce our emissions of methane 50%, black carbon 90% and fully replace HFCs by 2030, then we’ll cut in half projected global warming over the next 35 years.”

      Are we not talking about ‘projected anthropogenic global warming?”

      Are we suddenly falling into the view that all GW is man-made?

      • Gary — I am a layman. My understanding is that some scientists like Dr. Gavin Schmidt believe that the man-made percentage of GW is greater than 100%. I think Dr. Schmidt says 108%, less 8% cooling from natural variability, netting at 100%. I could be wrong on the exact numbers, but they are in the ballpark of his views.

        I have no idea what Dr. Molina or Dr. Ramathan believe on these percentages of human vs. natural variability.

  64. Judy . . “2015: hottest year.” You can also expand that topic to the oft heard, “every year for the past decade (or whatever) is as warm or warmer than most every year on record since records began (1895, or whenever).” Various versions of that out there. NASA has up – “Nine of the 10 warmest years on record has occurred since 2000,” at State of the Climate.

    The Earth’s climate has been in a warming cycle (in starts and stops) since the end of the LIA.

    Even if the current warm period were to stay this warm (w/o any significant additional warming – say within margin of error) for the next 200 years (perhaps like the MWPish), one could say, ‘that 9,or 10, of the warmest years on record out of the past 200+ (and counting) have occurred during the past decade.’

    It’s a cycle. Picture any bull stock market, where you’re to experience the highest highs (in starts and stops) until that cycle is over with, and then you’re in a bear market. Then, it’s going to be 9 of 10 of the coolest years on record since ________, have occurred in the past decade.

    It is meaningless that the one last year, or the past 10 years, in a warming cycle are the warmest +/- on record — during that cycle.

  65. Dr. Curry’s sciencey presentation is up against this sort of dreck:

  66. As I’ve said in numerous posts here at CE, when you couple three things — one can present a pretty positive message:

    (1) Dr. Curry’s view on TCR.

    (2) “Fast Mitigation”, which per the opinion of Nobel Prize winning scientist Dr. Molina can give our scientists and engineers time to better understand and address this “wicked problem”.

    (3) Today, there is an article that gives a real life example (natural gas) of the potential technology breakthroughs that could happen over 35 years:

  67. Moderator
    Dear Dr. Judith Curry

    I just had the pleasure going through your draft presentation as linked to in this post. However – I don´t know if that is the presentation you actually gave. I cannot see that the final presentation has ever been posted. May I suggest that you make a simple post containing a link to your presentation an a few words about your experience presenting it. And please have me excused if I have overseen link to the final presentation.

    Best Regards
    A great fan

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