Week in review – science edition

by Judith Curry

A few things that caught my eye this past week

NSIDC 20 July: “Compared to 2012 at this time of yr, there is more ice in the S Beaufort Sea, Baffin Bay…” [link]

An animation showing “sea level fingerprints,” or patterns of rising and falling sea levels across the globe in response to changes in Earth’s gravitational and rotational fields [link]

Arctic Observation and Reanalysis Integrated System: A New Data Product for Validation and Climate Study [link]

XBT Science: Assessment of Instrumental Biases and Errors [link]

Connecting Climate Model Projections of Global Temperature Change with the Real World [link]

When does one alternative decision becomes better than the other? A #deepuncertainty approach [link] …

New paper finds climate models overestimate the effect of aerosols on clouds [link]

Shrinking Ozone Hole Leads To Cooling Antarctic Temperatures [link]

Observations show a long-term decrease in drought conditions over So. Great Plains. Climate models? Not so much.  [link]

Antarctica is special – the signal of anthropogenic warming is relatively slow to emerge: [link]

“there appears to be nothing unusual, unnatural or unprecedented about recent drought history” of SW China [link]

In Peru’s Andes, bitter cold devastates alpaca farmers [link]

Confronting Deep and Persistent Climate Uncertainty, [link]

Scientists look to desalination as a way to reduce conflict in the Middle East: [link]

Climate Change Advocacy: The Good, The Bad, The Dumb [link]

After warming fast, part of #Antarctica gets a chill (…but it probably won’t last) [link]

A new study maps the carbon storage of mangrove forests in Kenya [link]

This new data set is poised to revolutionize #climate adaption. [link]

Updated map of the human brain hailed as a scientific tour de force [link]

Predicting the export and fate of global ocean net primary production: The EXPORTS [link]

Official revisions to the Atlantic basin hurricane record for 1956-1960. 10 new tropical storms discovered [link]

Cows are worse than cars for the planet [link]

“Interaction between surface waves and the ocean’s underlying circulation isn’t so well understood” [link]

New paper finds multiple severe droughts in Belize over past 5000 years [link] …

Roy Spencer:  A guide to understanding  global temperatures [link]

Climate change could curb malaria risk [link]

“Long-awaited breakthrough in reconstruction of warm climate phases” from re-interpreting temp proxy data [link]

Steve McIntyre debunks Gergis et al.  [link]

New paper finds low frequency El Nino/La Nina (ENSO) climate cycles lasting centuries [link]  [link]

La Niña outlook less likely as key indicators settle down toward neutral conditions. But still a “wait and see” game [link]

New Paper: China temperatures warmer during the 1700s, linked to solar, volcanic, and AMO/PDO forcing [link]

Projected changes in western U.S. large-scale summer synoptic circulations and variability in CMIP5 models [link]

High temperatures, ‘corn sweat’ form dangerous heat dome over U.S. [link]

The US coastline has been calm so far this year, so where are the hurricanes? [link]

The changing shape of NH summer temperature distributions [link]

Interesting *lack* of a big methane signal from warming Alaskan tundra.  [link]

A significant drop in insect populations could have far-reaching consequences. [link]

Drought caused the Amazon to stop storing carbon. [link]

Large-scale reforestation could lead to slight reduction in global warming [link]

Pollution From Humanity Keeps Tropical Cyclones At Bay [link]

A different approach. Estimating trends in the global mean temperature record.  [link]

Warmer oceans driving Antarctic Peninsula glacier melt [link]

Excellent, easy to read piece on the mystery of Evaporation [link]

New paper finds Arctic sea level rise is only 1.5mm/yr, almost same as global 1.8mm/yr or 7 inches per century [link] …

The severe weather of 1816 was mostly a local circulation change, attributable to the Tambora eruption: [link]

Storm tracks are shifting from Earth’s mid-latitudes towards its poles [link]

California Drought, Marine Heat More Likely With Warming [link]

“Social system tipping points can worsen or reduce the impacts of climate change.” [link]

Bad science:Why it took social science years to correct simple error about psychoticism in liberals vs conservatives [link]

Superb documentary on the intolerance and insanity at Brown University [link]

David Legates:  College students are learning advocacy, not climate science [link]



202 responses to “Week in review – science edition

  1. The science debate is getting “hot” and NAS members my not be able to avoid the battle.

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

  3. Curious George

    The sea level animation looks great. Unfortunately, it then drops you into one of Dr. James Hansen’s monologues. I wonder if this a fair use of NASA’s materials.

    • It is a nice animation, but some times all the sea is high and some times all the sea is low. How can that happen. We are told the sea can rise dramatic, but the next month it is all gone again. The Earth has normally two high tides and two low tides at the same time spread around the globe.
      I wonder what it shows.

      • The animation is of monthly changes in sea surface height being caused by changes in gravitation and the earth’s rotation. So each year there is an addition of around 3mm to sea level. If you want to see just the change in sea level, I believe you have to compare same month to same month. So look at April 2002 and April 2014. I believe that difference would be, approximately, far from exact, the change in sea level from 2002 to 2014:

    Taking advantage of the many selective ‘outrages’ that Westerns are known to indulge –beyond all reason and self-interest– is what has the ‘progressives’ using the supposed plight of polar bears to promulgate its global warming meme; what about the camelids?

    Peru’s government has declared a state of emergency in the southern Andes and promised $3 million in relief amid a bitter cold snap that has killed 50,000 alpacas. Authorities fear that if the mercury continues to hit minus 9 Fahrenheit (minus 23 Celsius) as many as 300,000 camelids could die, devastating the largely indigenous families who raise them.

    • “Cool (and wet) conditions in that part of South America is actually a fairly standard end-of-El Nino response – it was exceptionally warm through 2014 and earlier in 2015. (Some data sets show a more consistent cool spot further northwest but that looks to be related to some data issues in Bolivia). ” – Blair Trewin

      • And I imagine that if 50,000 caribou were to die because of an el Nino inspired warm spell you would be just as dismissive.

      • Dismissive of what? Last year 200,000 Alpaca died in a Peru cold snap. I think it’s very important to get out front and blame natural variability… the BOM meteorologist say El Niño can do this, and apparently even a Nada El Niño can do it. The key thing is to make certain ACO2 didn’t do it, and I think I’ve done a Masstaful job.

  5. Curious George

    California Drought, Marine Heat More Likely With Warming – or maybe without it as well. Many years ago a fish hatchery biologist told me that in the past salmon disappeared from Sacramento river watershed four times at least, probably because of drought and heat.

    From the article, I wonder how loud the tortured models screamed: “The pair analyzed temperature records and model simulations, discovering that they could force models to re-enact the observed conditions in ways that pointed to the influence of well-known ocean cycles.”

    • PETAM – people for the ethical treatment of animals and models

      Fisheries scientist Steven Hare coined the term “Pacific Decadal Oscillation” (PDO) in 1996 while researching connections between Alaska salmon production cycles and Pacific climate. PDO has since been described as a long-lived El Niño-like pattern of Pacific climate variability because the two climate oscillations have similar spatial climate fingerprints, but very different temporal behavior. …

  6. David Wojick

    WUWT has the original Legates piece on teaching advocacy instead of science, plus a lengthy discussion (including comments by me): https://wattsupwiththat.com/2016/07/22/climate-science-or-climate-advocacy/.
    One topic of interest was science education in early years, including kindergarten. People seemed to know little about it so I posted the lengthy Virginia Science Standards that specify what should be learned in kindergarten. There is a great deal indeed, as there is in every K-12 grade, in most States.

    We really need to develop climate debate teaching materials that speak to the specifics of the Standards, on a grade level basis.
    See: https://wattsupwiththat.com/2016/07/22/climate-science-or-climate-advocacy/comment-page-1/#comment-2263178 for the kindergarten level Science Standards of Learning.

    • Curious George

      That’s why kindergarten will soon be mandatory. ISIS uses the same approach.

    • Curious George

      I am resubmitting a comment stuck in moderation:
      That’s why kindergarten will soon be mandatory. In Raqqah and Mosul they use the same approach to raise a new generation of holy warriors.

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

  8. NSIDC 20 July: “Compared to 2012 at this time of yr, there is more ice in the S Beaufort Sea, Baffin Bay…” [link]

    The Arctic Ocean opened during the Medieval Warm Period. The Vikings moved to Greenland. The Chinese mapped the Arctic. The Arctic was mostly open for several hundred years while increased snowfall replenished the ice on Greenland and the Mountain glaciers. You can see the increased ice rate in the ice cores. There are the ice core records that show it happened. Then the more ice spread and cooled the earth into the Little Ice Age.

    That natural, necessary, replenishing ice cycle is underway again. The Arctic will close again in a few hundred years, after there is enough ice on land to cause the next natural, necessary, Little Ice Age.

    • By mostly open Arctic, I mean, mostly open in September, as it is now. Not year round, that will not happen. The replenishing snowfall has started, it will limit the upper bound of temperature. Earth will not cool much until the increased volume of ice on land starts advancing faster than it is melting and retreating. Ice core data shows this to be the natural repeating cycle.

    • “The Chinese mapped the Arctic.”

      In the Medieval Warm Period which the climate change industry pretty much claim wasn´t significant?

      Do you happen to have a link?

      • I recommend this book.
        1421: The Year China Discovered America?

      • Excellent book. I read it several years ago before my interest in AGW. Will now reread it.

      • This is spooky. I bought the book just today in our local second hand book shop for 3 pounds. Provided I return it undamaged I will get half of this back.!

        I was hugely sceptical of his book when it first came out some years ago and had a number of email conversations with the author asking for his evidence but he refused to release it.

        There are a number of web sites detailing objections to the authors case. I shall reread the book having made a number of visits to the Scott polar institute in Cambridge in recent years Where I saw evidence of various periods of arctic warming. I suspect the northeast passage probably opened sometime in the 16 th century between Russia and china.

        I think the remains of one of the huge ships said to have taken part in the Chinese expedition was recently uncovered. I shall re read the book with interest in the light of recent discoveries and increased knowledge.


      • I just read pages beginning at 347 about circumnavigating Greenland possibly 180 miles from North Pole. Index has pages about Antarctica.

        There was a dispute by cartographers about authenticity of mapping in the area involving type of ink. All interesting from a different angle than when I read it more than 10 years ago.

      • Alexander,

        The book you refer to is mostly speculation. Very interesting and perhaps even true in part. But speculation.

      • The book you refer to is mostly speculation. Very interesting and perhaps even true in part. But speculation.

        Your opinion appears to be just speculation and not interesting and not likely true in any part.

      • You could be right Mr Pope. And it has been several years since I read it. I recall it was similar to Jared Diamond’s style. Diamond’s books are very interesting reading, but light on actual evidence to back up many of the leaps he takes.

        But sice you recommend it, I’ll take another look.

      • I read that book a while back, too. Wasn’t entirely convinced.

        But here’s an example of an orthodox denigration of the idea. Typical paradigm defense. From that site there’s no way to know whether the idea has merit or not.

        But I was struck by one paragraph:

        Menzies has no “smoking gun” that proves his theory– because the xenophobic Confucian officials who advised the later Ming emperors destroyed all records of these sea voyages. So he relies upon three types of evidence. First, Menzies claims that Chinese maps from as early as 1428, allegedly showing parts of North and South America and some Atlantic islands, were used by European explorers (including Columbus) when they started their own voyages decades later. Second, he adduces allegedly tangible evidence of pre-Columbian contact between Asia and the Americas, such as: flora and fauna (maize, sweet potatoes, Asiatic chickens, coconuts) that must have been transported by humans; “DNA evidence” that links American Indians to the Chinese; wrecks of Chinese ships and medieval Chinese anchors found in California. […]

        Genetic studies have come a very long way since that book was published. Already, in 2014, evidence of ancient genetic contact between South America and Polynesia was published.

        Unfortunately, this is hardly proof that Gavin Menzies is right. The issue of pre-Columbian transport of crops could easily be explained by occasional voyages, or even wind-blown wrecks, by Polynesian or South American adventurers.

        At our current stage of genetic analysis, it should be possible to determine the provenance of early (Ming) New World crops, in terms of their South American relatives and probably even the time of divergence.

        The question of genetic contact among humans should also be falsifiable at our current state of technology.

      • +1 AK

  9. Here we go again with that nonsense about Tambora in 1816.

    The number of times people point to volcanoes drastically affecting the climate for sometimes a number of years without looking at the weather PRIOR to these events is legion.

    Michael Mann did it with the volcano of 1256 (bad weather for some years PRIOR to that Michael) now we have the latest paper attributing the bad summer in Europe to Tambora yet again

    Lest anyone forget, just a few years previously 1812 (non volcanic) had caused devastation to Napoleon. Prior to 1816 there had been a long run of bad weather.

    Charles Dickens was born in 1812 and his formative years occurred during this renewed little ice age and was part of the inspiration of ‘A Christmas Carol.’


    • Yep, the worst winter of the era, that of 1813-14, preceded Tambora. And the year 1814 was pretty much as severe for cold as 1816. And yes, the 1814 summer was a chiller on a par with summer of 1816. Console climateers have found a few eruptions to cover the earlier cold, but…

      When Mt Agung blew in mid Feb 1963 and affected world temps for a bit, England was already well into the coldest winter of the 20th Century and one of the four coldest in the CET. (March 1962 was the coldest of the 20th century.)

      There was certainly a run of cold years for Western Europe post-Krakatoa 1883, but the late 1870s were colder, were they not? (Interesting that it was so extremely wet and cold in England during the extraordinary mid-globe drought of 1878 which circled the world to terrible effect. Who needed Krakatoa?)

      I find such anti-narrative fact interesting…but it publisheth no papers.

      • Mosomoso

        It is extraordinary that respected researchers can focus on 1816 and not think to look at the years that preceded it so it could be seen in context. It is difficult to see any influence at all from Tambora in 1816 . Similarly Michael Mann wrote a whole article constructing some complicated hypothesis about the volcano of 1256 but again it was merely one of a number of bad years, albeit for a few months it got especially bad.

        The influences of volcanoes often seem very over done


      • Tonyb, 1674 was a year without a summer and without a volcano. The legendary winters of 1607-8, 1683-4, the all-Europe freeze of 1708-9, the disastrous cold+drought of the early 1740s…these are not easily explained by big blows.

        You can maybe tie the cold of the 1780s to Laki, but how do you explain all the rest of the later LIA? The major known eruptions of the 17th and 18th centuries don’t coincide neatly with the major cold waves. And we know that in 1813-14 the supposed chicken of cold came before the supposed egg of volcanism.

    • TonyB and mosomoso,

      Thanks for this. Now stored in permanent memory for easy retrieval in future. :)

  10. This animation is strange:
    An animation showing “sea level fingerprints,” or patterns of rising and falling sea levels across the globe in response to changes in Earth’s gravitational and rotational fields [link]
    The animation gives an impression that the amount of water in the oceans changes. In many instances the whole sea is blue (meaning raised level), but where is all that water comming from?

    • From the areas of the ocean where gravitation/rotation used to retain it before there was a change in gravitation/rotation that let it to flow to wherever the emergent gravitation/rotation regime is influencing it to go.

      • The “cumulative” rise nearly disappears every April and emerges every October. Grace measures the total mass between the satellite and the center of the earth. Sea level is inferred from mass. I do not believe it can be meaningfully corrected for salinity…yet.

        A rather light headed interpretation:
        ” Melting glaciers, for example, actually cause nearby sea level to drop; as they lose mass, their gravitational pull slackens, and sea water migrates away.”
        Say what? Seasonal isostatic rebound? And this also explains the “drop” at the mouth of the Amazon?

        What about fresh water just being less dense?

      • Perhaps, formation of sea ice NH winter; melting spring to September.

    • Complicated stuff. Highly dependent upon the assumptions applied to collected data as corrected for hypothetical geoid.

      Same sources produced the recent analysis of the change in Earth’s “wobble” around the axis of spin. Calculated that a key element contributing to the shift was surface and groundwater depletion around Caspian Sea and Indian subcontinent. Despite fact that volumes (compared to polar ice melt) removed (or added) there are relatively low, changes in mass closer to the equator (around 45 degrees latitude) have a greater effect on the wobble, gram for gram.

      The discovery raises the possibility that the 115-year record of east-west wobbles in Earth’s spin axis may, in fact, be a remarkably good record of changes in land water storage.


      • Interesting. Papers have different estimates, but the latest GWS paper showed net storage, not net depletion, so redistribution of groundwater on the continents is what matters?

      • For the wobble, it would appear so. This may relate to length of day issues, as well.

  11. Warmer oceans driving Antarctic Peninsula glacier melt [link]
    800 thousand years of Antarctic Ice Core data, much from warmer times than now, indicate that the current climate cycles are just repeats of past cycles, nothing new and nothing more threatening than cycles of the most recent ten thousand years. Ice core data shows that the ice is replenished during the warm times, then ice advances and makes earth cold. Ice core data shows a lack of ice accumulation in cold times, the ice depletes and retreats and makes earth warm again. These are normal, natural and necessary cycles and we did not and are not and cannot cause these cycles or major changes to these cycles. These facts are in the ice core records.

  12. Scientists look to desalination as a way to reduce conflict in the Middle East: [link]

    The linked (above) article in turn links to a paper (from 2013): Bioflocculation: Chemical free, pre-treatment technology for the desalination industry which describes the process which is coming on-line to produce Israel’s “extra water”.

    While digging into the energy economics of desalination, I found several more interesting papers:

    Seawater Desalination Costs (2012)

    Optimizing Lower Energy Seawater Desalination, The Affordable Desalination Collaboration

    And a presentation: Seawater Desalination Energy Consumption Calculation Model that I haven’t tracked down the software for yet, or even decided whether to. But it looks interesting.

  13. Pumped Up: Renewables Growth Revives Old Energy-Storage Method

    Wall Street Journal on Pumped Storage.

    • WSJ should have interviewed CPUC. In mandating grid storage, they expressly ruled out the porposed Eagle Crest facility by requiring that no more than 30% coild be transmission connected. Eagle Crest would use two abandoned open pit iron ore mines, and is less than 10 miles from an existing transmission corridor. Essay California Dreaming in Blowing Smoke.

  14. A hilarious quote from a pamphlet shown on the YouTube Brown video:

    As you might learn in your time at Brown, research and academia often emphasized and valued quantitative data, statistical information, and documentation through written word. Our goals through our research are to push back on this systematic oppression through valuing our personal experiences, oral and creative histories, and the celebration of collaboration and community. [emphasis mine]

    • David Wojick

      Sounds like science is systematic oppression, at Brown anyway.

      • We need more anecdoctal evidence. Lewandowsky could have used some:


      • That Cartoon by Josh from 2013 gave me a proper belly laugh :)

        Mann obviously didn´t get it – here is what he said in 2016:

        “What is disconcerting to me and so many of my colleagues is that these tools that we’ve spent years developing increasingly are unnecessary because we can see climate change, the impacts of climate change, now, playing out in real time, on our television screens, in the 24-hour news cycle.”

        «In the case of science – I think one of the things which makes it very difficult – is that it takes a lot of imagination – It´s really hard to imagine all the crazy things that things really are like!»
        – Richard Feynman

        I guess Mann – like me – is just some kind of thing.

    • I’d like to see a Brown graduate invent the internet, antibiotics or solar power cells without quantitative data, statistical information, and documentation through written word.

    • Curious George

      Go Brown!

  15. The Climate Audit commentary on Gergis is stunning. First her article at Conversation is simply false. She knew McIntyre had the FIOA proof, and yet published the lie anyway. Second, IPCC used the withdrawn then relabeled stuff proven faulty. Finally, four years later after significant illogical data torture they produce a similar result. A clearer example of bad climate science could not be imagined.

    • A clearer example of bad climate science could not be imagined.

      What “science”? It’s out-and-out propaganda. She knew her target readership would believe her claims over McIntyre’s, even when he had the emails to prove his.

    • With so much data torture by Gergis, et al, I wonder if they are aware of the Geneva Conventions?

  16. From the New Yorker …

    What It Takes to Clean the Ganges
    More than a billion gallons of waste enter the river every day. Can India’s controversial Prime Minister save it?


    by George Black. Who wrote in 2014 …

    Modi’s pledge to cleanse the Ganges isn’t just about metaphor, or religion, or stripping off the mask to reveal the dark side of his Hindu nationalism. It goes to the very heart of his appeal. Nothing sums up the failures of government in India better than the despoiling of the Ganges. Rajiv Gandhi vowed almost thirty years ago to clean it up. Since then, hundreds of millions of dollars have been squandered on his Ganga Action Plan, with no discernible results.

  17. Hawkins paper on matching models and reality. IMO a pretty big fail. Especially given figure 2, a portrayal of how poorly model temperatures (not anomaly) agree with each other and reality. Acrual,temperature has a lot to do with water phase transitions, evaporation, humidity, and cloud formation. And therefore with model sensitivity. To declare it unimportant and switch to anomalies hides this truth. Fretting about which anomaly baseline best matches models to reality is a distraction. Christy’s comparison of all CMIP5 to satallite and balloon records shows almost none of them come close to matching reality.

  18. johnvonderlin

    “Official revisions to the Atlantic basin hurricane record for 1956-1960. 10 new tropical storms discovered.”
    What a great example of the effect of better technology on the concept of “detection bias.” I’ll be adding it to my future Johnologues on the subject. Thanks. Dr. Curry. I love this weekly feature of your blog.

  19. Just over two millennia ago, a Roman consul better known as Marcus Tullius Cicero said (couldn’t find direct quote) something like this
    ‘In our unquenchable desire to search for truth we often do not notice things that nature warns us about’.
    So when in Rome think as the ancient not the contemporary Romans do.

    • That’s quite an impressive correlation. I have to admit to not paying attention to the issue in the past. That will change.

      • two things to note:
        a) Correlation is negative (inverse), i.e. the GMF values are plotted in reverse order.
        b) GMF leads the GT by number of years, here GMF is moved by 5 years along x axis..

  20. After watching the Brown U video and reading the story about the grad student finding the error in the cons vs. libs social “science” (quotes pejorative) research .. .I’m going to take a shower and congratulate myself for dropping out of college.

  21. None of the pieces about the Antarctic spoke of the influence of geothermal activities in the West Antarctica peninsula. Very few articles ever do make any mention of this as a possible cause of destabilized glaciers. To their credit, the recent paper, Babonis et al (2016), referenced “regions where subglacial geology has a profound influence on ice sheet behavior.”

  22. La Niña looking less likely… where have heard that before? The OHC numbers will be out soon. Another El Niño could be in the offing Spring 2017, and maybe two more warmest years before 2020.

    The church of the AMO believers have disrespected the PDO, and he’s one angry barroom brawler.

  23. In Peru’s Andes, bitter cold devastates alpaca farmers [link]

    “Alpaca, the quintessential word in warmth and luxury, these furry animals are dying because of the…cold. How can this be? How can a creature who has endured cold at high altitude for thousands of years now perish? Perish in, what climate scientists and President Obama supports with Government money, global warming? We are told the world is headed to a hothouse where the human species will fry and become extinct. We are scolded if we do not listen to the sayers of doom and gloom; they say it, must not it be true? Alas for the Alpaca, global warming has come too late. Or, and this view is somewhat controversial, that global warming is a manufactured alarm, when in fact, the globe warms and cools naturally: ice ages and interglacial periods come and go.

    To persuade the multitude, it seems that observations by climate scientists are being discarded for the magic of computer model output. The Alpaca dying is real. The computer models predicting unbearable warming must surely be wrong.

    Garbage In = Garbage out.

    Too bad the Alpaca haven’t benefited from global warming.”

    (amended by me from another post at NPR.”

      • JCH

        Thank you for the June 2016 global temperature map. I noticed the cold in Argentina, Paraguay and a portion of Chile, however, the article describes Peru, on the Pacific Ocean, just South of Equator and in particular San Antonio de Puntina. No particular cooling in the area described; maybe a touch warm anomaly.

        The author of this piece, Franklin Bricenio may have wished he would have visited the area as he would have found that much of the children’s respiratory illnesses was due to indoor air pollution from burning biomass. And, he may have noticed that the grasslands were covered with Alpaca and sheep, altogether harvesting both summer and winter forage at the same time. Death due to overgrazing. Animal husbandry may need an update in them thar hills.

        Of course, I am probably not being fair to Mr. Bricenio as the ascent to 5,000 meters may result in a confused mind from high altitude sickness.

      • RiHo08 – those maps don’t have that level of precision. Nick Stokes has a tool on Moyhu which shows it with more precision.

        “Cool (and wet) conditions in that part of South America is actually a fairly standard end-of-El Nino response – it was exceptionally warm through 2014 and earlier in 2015. (Some data sets show a more consistent cool spot further northwest but that looks to be related to some data issues in Bolivia). ” – Blair Trewin

        Trewin is with BOM.

  24. Observations show a long-term decrease in drought conditions over So. Great Plains. Climate models? Not so much.

    This is not surprising to me. Precipitation events are discrete and multi-factoral. And weather. What hubris was it that anyone thought that climate models could predict precipitation or drought to begin with?

  25. Harvard paper on climate uncertainty. There are three erroneous assertions in the abstract.
    1. Uses AR5 ECS range, which really the reflection of the split between observational estimates (low) and model estimates (high). Problem is, the models are also wrong in other ways.
    2. Asserts marginal costs rise rapidly with temp. That is not true with crop yields; many of those papers are just wrong (see my very first guest post for an example). Other papers say there are marginal crop benefits for the first 2C warming. That is not true with SLR because of ice thermal mass. See last guest post concerning the Eemian. It is not true concerning weather extremes because IPCC SRES found weak to no couplings.
    3. So uncertainty raises expected value of climate costs? Bad math. Expected value is sum of all P(x) times C(x). In fact, P(x) is high with observational sensitivity and low with model sensitivity. And marginal costs do not rise that much with T.
    A faux rejustification of the ruinous precautionary principle. As bad as Maugerie’s paper on oil, coming from the same Belfer Center. See guest post Oil Isn’t the next Revolution.

  26. “A different approach. Estimating trends in the global mean temperature record. [link]” aka “Estimating trends in the global mean temperature record” Poppick et al is well worth a read for those that are interested in estimating CO2 sensitivity.

    • Did so, but had a less positive reaction despite an anthropogenic ECS between 1.5 and 3, centered on 1.8. I found their division of anthropogenic and natural sensitivity suspect, because 2/3 of their data set is a period when ‘only’ natural could have been at work and the only temperature rise in it (~1920 – 1945) is statistically indistinguishable from 1975-2000. That does not argue for attribution 2/3 anthropogenic. Rather the opposite. Also, their temp data set contained no pause. Finally, I don’t think historic forcings can be well characterized a priori– for example CO2 impact on radiative imbalance at TOA. Observations are sat era only, and inherently also involve all feedbacks.
      Just going to more correct regression methods to handle autocorrelation does not automatically give a better result.

      • Steven Mosher

        Anthropogenic has been at work since we started to grow rice.

      • And your point is?

      • I think it is worth keeping an eye on the work that STATMOS is fostering based on the methodological improvements they are encouraging.

      • Anthropogenic has been at work since we started to grow rice.

        Not to mention herding goats/sheep. Especially in the Sahara.

      • Not to mention herding goats/sheep. Especially in the Sahara.

        Put me down as goat herders started populating the Sahara because it became rainier and greener, and then stopped when it stopped raining.

        There’s good physical basis for this. The Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) represents a balance between hemispheres (constrained by mountain ranges ). During the Holocene Climatic Optimum(HCO), orbital variation shifted the location of the radiative balance between hemispheres northward during Northern Summer:

        During the Last Glacial Maximum, the ITCZ was more constrained ( both northward and southward ).

        By comparison, the radiative effect of doubling CO2 is irrelevant.

      • Put me down as goat herders started populating the Sahara because it became rainier and greener, and then stopped when it stopped raining.

        They didn’t actually stop, just changed their methods. From your link:

        One of the most fascinating aspects of the African Humid Period is its impact on North African human sustainability and cultural development ([ref’s]). North Africa was nearly completely vegetated during the height of the AHP ([ref]) and populated with nomadic hunter-gatherer communities that increasingly practiced pastoralism (husbandry of cattle, sheep, and goats; [ref’s]). The rock art images in Figure 1 depict impressions of this life. Towards the end of the African Humid Period between 7,000 and 5,000 years ago the progressive desiccation of the region led to a widespread depopulation and abandonment of North African sites. These populations did not disappear, however. The large-scale exodus was coincident with the rise of sedentary life and pharaonic culture along the Nile River (a perennial water source) and the spread of pastoralism throughout the continent (Kuper and Kröpelin, 2006).

        The thing about herding goats (and often sheep) is that primitive nomadic cultures tend to go through booms and crashes, with consequent effects on dust generation.

        Much of that dust makes its way over the Atlantic, some of it to the Amazon. In both locations changes to it have the potential to make substantial contributions to climate change (via fertilization). Some mechanisms might be via CO2 (e.g. changing the balance between diatoms and coccolithophores), and others might not (e.g. changes to biogenic sulfur and other aerosols).

  27. Via one of the links I came over this little beauty.

    Watch one of the worlds greatest inductivists in action:

    «The data records are too short, but if we wait until the real world reveals itself clearly, it may be to late to avoid sea level rise of several meters and loss of all coastal cities.»
    – From about 8:30 into the video clip.

    • SoF, fascinating demonstration of rabid warmunist belief. The Bahama boulders are likely tsunami. We even know from where (Canary Islands) and about when. He acknowledges that hypothesis and brushes it off without explanation. There ismone superstorm paper on the Bahamas. It is weak, does not use boulders, and basically shows the dirty side of Cat 5 hurricanes have hit the Bahamas before.
      The sudden ice sheet collapse stuff is based on faulty science that in one case amounts to academic misconduct. Guest post By Land or by Sea. Several meters of SLR by 2100 is impossible, see most recent guest post here, plus the linked Tipping Points post.
      What is disturbing is that he seems so credible and earnest. But then, Bernie Madhoff seemed that way also.

  28. The Gergis paper is quite the thing. For those who don’t have time to read the McIntyre / Shollenberger posts:
    -Original paper stated it had used detrended temperature data to select proxies but actually hadn’t done so. Detrending would reduce the available number of proxies from 27 iirc to 6-8 – which of course the authors say didn’t affect the conclusions, is not material, etc. (Is there anything that could possibly affect the conclusions of a paper in climate science? No, because the conclusions are set in stone before the research begins).

    -To get back to the original number of proxies, Gergis and coauthors now select those that correlate with local temperature the same year, or the year before, or…. the year AFTER! That’s right, supposedly tree rings act as crystal balls telling you what next year’s temperature will be.

    -Proxy reconstructions have a calibration period (to test the relationship between temperature and tree ring width for example) and a verification period (to see if such relationship holds up). Gergis stated that it used 1901-1930 for calibration (true) and 1931-1990 for verification. Well turns out the verification in fact starts in 1921! So 1/3 of the ‘independent’ calibration period in fact overlaps with the verification period.

    -The proxy network, and reconstruction, is almost identical to that seen in the Pages 2k paper three years ago. What exactly are they getting paid for?

    And after publishing this **** she still has the gall to write in a website that she has been unfairly targeted and blahblah.

    • Made a brief comment above. Agree with you. Shocking that she would do all this knowing McIntyre had the goods from FOIA. Rather like Mann in a way–oblivious to the fact that others can onjectively fact find and judge, and that those conclusions can be distributed worldwide in an instant for all to see.

      • Just a quick note. Gergis et al used the 1921-1990 period for proxy screening and the 1900-1930 period for verification. In other words, you had the two reversed.

        Doesn’t change your point, of course. You can’t have “independent” verification when your verification period overlaps with the screening/calibration period.

  29. Arctic Observation and Reanalysis Integrated System: A New Data Product for Validation and Climate Study

    Look at the spread in downwelling energy and clouds:

    “Fig. 2. Monthly mean (top) surface downwelling longwave radiation (BOA-LWDN), and (bottom) all-sky cloud fraction averaged over the period between 2007 and 2010. ARM measurements (dashed black line) are obtained from Barrow, Alaska, on the North Slope (71.3°N, 156.6°W). Cloud fraction was measured from the ARM site using the all-sky imager. CERES (red), CloudSat (blue), GEWEX-SRB (green), NCEP (pink), ECMWF (yellow), MERRA (teal), and ASR (maroon) products are matched to the nearest 2.5° region. Error bars were determined from the standard deviation taken from the population of ARM site observations.”

    Think about how little room there is for natural variation in the theory propounded by the climate industry.

  30. re: “Updated map of the human brain hailed as a scientific tour de force” ==> this needs to be read in conjunction with the recent finding that all fMRI studies have used software that produces a 70% FALSE positive rate.

  31. It appears that the link isn’t working

  32. Cows are worse for the planet than cars: Ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft are doing more to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions than government green mandates, according to a three-year study by scientists at the University of California, (UC) Berkeley.


    But another analysis says just the opposite:


    The biodiesel factory, a three-story steel skeleton crammed with pipes and valves, squatted on a concrete slab between a railroad track and a field of storage tanks towering over the Houston Ship Channel. Jeffrey Kimes, an engineer for the Environmental Protection Agency, arrived there at 9 a.m. on a muggy Wednesday in August 2011.
    [ … ]
    The place was weirdly still and quiet. Some pipes weren’t connected to anything. Two-story-high biodiesel mixing canisters sat rusting, the fittings on their tops covered in garbage bags secured with duct tape. Kimes started asking questions. “They showed me a log, and from that you could see they hadn’t been producing fuel for a long period of time,”


    • ” He kept a miniature, stainless-steel working model of it in his office. “I could put vegetable oil through it and get a cup of the most beautiful biodiesel you ever saw,” Harvey Greenwood, Green Diesel’s former director for engineering, says of the model.

      The methodology never translated to the full-size factory, however. In late 2008, Green Diesel produced a batch of about 130,000 gallons of biodiesel—the last it ever made, EPA investigators say. The quality was too poor for commercial sale, and Rivkin never figured out how to remedy that.”

      Green inductivists in a nutshell.

  34. “Confronting deep and persistent climate uncertainty” http://belfercenter.ksg.harvard.edu/files/dp84_wagner-zeckhauser.pdf makes assertions throughout the paper about the damage function and references Weitzman and Wagner and Kopp and others. However, I have not seen any persuasive evidence that AGW is a threat. If anyone is aware of a good paper that clearly and simply explains the evidence that AGW is a serious threat, can they please post a link to it and explain in brief the evidence (not assertions). I pointed out in comments here why I find it very hard to believe that AGW can be is a serious threat:

  35. However, we also have to correct our temperature-conception of the Eocene. Thomas Laepple: “The era remains the warmest period of the past 65 million years. The water temperatures that we assumed for the Arctic and Antarctica, though, were overstated by at least ten degrees Celsius. Now, we know that the water in the Southern Ocean had a temperature of about 20 to 25 degrees Celsius at that time. The region was therefore still warm enough for there to be palm trees sprouting on the beach.”

    That’s a near perfect temperature for life. Now what was the average temperature of the tropics at that time? This chart tells us the average temp in the tropics was about 2.7C warmer than now.

    That was 65 million years ago. What could the average temperature of the tropics realistically change by in 100 years?

    And what would be the consequences of that to the global economy? What is the evidence (not inuendo And cherry picked factoids – I am asking for the total damage function and the evidence to support it)?

  36. nabilswedan

    From Dr. Spencer…

    “In the case of global warming theory, the extra CO2 we have added to the atmosphere is believed to have reduced the rate at which the Earth loses infrared radiation to space by about 1 percent, based upon theoretical calculations backed up by laboratory measurements. It’s like covering the pot of water on the stove slightly more with a lid, or adding a little more insulation to the walls of a house.”

    Insulation?? This greenhouse gas effect has so many definitions, so many heads, like monsters in Greek Mythology.

    • Indeed.

      My house is insulated to keep it cool. A little more insulation would make it a little cooler. As does increasing the insulating effect of the atmosphere.

      Moon hot. Earth cool. CO2 good. No CO2 very, very, bad.


      • Steven Mosher

        Insulation doesnt cool your house or warm it.

        It keeps your house warmer than it would be otherwise in the winter..
        The outside is colder than the inside. insulation SLOWS heat transfer

        in the summer it keeps you cooler than your would be otherwise..

        Same principle

      • At the same time Steven, the Sun, is closer in the Summer & the farthest away in the Winter… It is not because of your heat pump. That is the thing that helps you regulate the outdoor conditions you will be facing at the time.

      • AS:

        Sun is closest during Northern Hemisphere winter.


      • Steven Mosher,

        Precisely. As does the atmosphere. Cooler in the sunshine, warmer in the dark. Is it not so?


      • nabilswedan

        What I cannot understand is the insulation effect of 2 ppm increase in the concentration of CO2 annually. They are very simple engineering calculations, where are they? My numbers show zero increase in insulation effect. This claim is no different than the greenhouse gas effect- both are groundless.

      • nabilswedan,

        What I cannot understand is the insulation effect of 2 ppm increase in the concentration of CO2 annually. They are very simple engineering calculations, where are they?

        This will get you in the ballpark: ΔF = 5.35 W m-2 * ln(2/400)

        Multiply by 0.8 K W-1 m2 to get ΔT corresponding to an ECS of 3 K/2xCO2. We won’t actually “see” the increase on an annual basis, of course, because:

        1) Until the oceans equilibrate they soak up most of the change in forcing,
        2) interannual variability is several orders of magnitude larger and
        3) the theoretical annual rate of change is well inside the error estimates of the observations.

        The relationship does stand observational scrutiny on multi-decadal to (especially) centennial timescales:

        My numbers show zero increase in insulation effect.

        That’s nice. What numbers?

        This claim is no different than the greenhouse gas effect- both are groundless.

        Venus and the Moon empirically disagree with you. So does the theoretical work by the likes of Planck and Boltzmann. Less celebrated in popular culture, but no less important, are the works of Pierre Bouguer, Johann Heinrich Lambert and August Beer on the attenuation of electromagnetic radiation as it passes through an absorbing medium.

      • Insulation. Finally I get it! CO2 is insulation in the atmosphere.

        That means, when I insulate my home, going from R-5 to R-12, I get a boost in my home not cooling as rapidly during the winter. And, I can get money from the Government for insulating my home. One of the problems with such a construct seems to be when going from R-12 to R-15, I don’t seem to get very much more benefit from the added insulation, and, what’s worse, the IRS guy who took a peek at my deduction for further insulation on my home, says that such added insulation doesn’t qualify for a tax break.

        Hmm, does the IRS know something about the worth while ness of extraordinary insulation that popular climatologists don’t know, or, are they just not saying?

        What about going from R-15 to R-20, a liquid nitrogen thermos flask kinda insulation, keeping my hot coffee hot for 8 hours instead of 5 hours.

        The more insulation, i.e., the more atmospheric CO2, the longer the atmosphere should keep things warm, unless of course, there are other factors in play, such as my keeping the lid off my Starbuck’s coffee thermos. Then, instead of a closed system, there is an open system and no matter how many “R’s” of insulation I have around my thermos, if I forget to close the system, then, cold coffee in less than an hour.

        Do I have the insulation story correct?

      • nabilswedan


        You are way off on a tangent. We are talking about insulation effect of CO2, a new definition of greenhouse gas effect. In order to have insulation effect, there must be a decrease in thermal conductivity of the atmosphere, increase in the thickness of the atmosphere, or both. There are no other variables. With 2 ppmv rise of CO2 annually, There is no change in thermal conductivity. The thickness of the atmosphere is decreasing for geopotential heights are decreasing based on observations. Where is this insulation effect? There should exactly the opposite based on the science. There is a saying “a drowning person clings to anything including ropes of air.” I think it is the case for proponents of the greenhouse gas effect. They would go by any explanation as long as it saves the day. I heard of CO2 trapping heat as a wall, radiate heat as ceramic tile, vibrates energy as a spring, and now acts as insulator of the surface. The list probably is not complete yet for we do not know how many heads this monster of greenhouse gas effect has.

  37. RE: Cows are worse than cars

    IPCC AR4 underestimated the warming effect of methane. Intentionally, I suspect, to control fossil fuels since the main sources of methane are swamps, rice paddies, cows and landfills. The radiative forcing since pre-industrial era given by IPCC:
    CO2 = 1.66 W/m^2
    CH4 = 0.48 W/m^2
    And the increase in atmospheric concentration:
    CO2 = 280 to 379 = 99 ppm
    CH4 = 0.5 to 1.77 = 1.27 ppm
    The global warming potential (GWP) of methane:
    (1.66/0.48) / (99/1.27) = 22.5

    There’s a problem. GWP = 22 assumes the warming effect is spread over 100 years. This is used to compare CH4 EMISSION with CO2 since CO2 is assumed to last 100 years in the atmosphere. In reality CH4 lasts only 12 years but its GWP is about 100 (GWP = 87 for 20 yrs)

    GWP = 100 must be used in above calculations because it is CH4 CONCENTRATION not emission. This is CH4 left in the atmosphere after nature’s removal every 12 years. We don’t have to adjust GWP to stretch 12 years to 100 years because this is already what’s left after 250 years (since pre-industrial era)

    Using GWP = 100 gives CH4 = 1.92 W/m^2, which is higher than CO2

  38. RE: Warmer oceans driving Antarctic Peninsula glacier melt

    “Cook’s study finds that the main cause of glacier melt actually lies deep in the ocean – several hundred metres beneath the surface.”

    “The Antarctic Peninsula is one of the largest current contributors to sea level rise, says Cook, so pinpointing the reasons why their glaciers are changing is important”

    The two statements are contradictory. Melting of glaciers submerged in the sea will not increase sea level. On the contrary, it will decrease sea level. Remember this is not sea ice, the glacier is not floating on the sea. The specific volume of ice is 1.09 cu.m./MT while liquid water is 1.00 cu.m./MT. If you melt a ton of ice, you create an extra volume of 90 liters.

    What’s the effect of extra volume? Thought experiment: Fill a thin glass with water. Get a fat glass (greater volume) and transfer the water to the fat glass. The volume of water is the same but volume of glass increased. Will the height of the water increase or decrease?

  39. I noticed this paper by Hawkins et al


    Starts using RCP4.5 as the reference case for simulations. There’s a need to establish a standard reference where RCP4.5 fossil fuel burn rates, emissions, and concentrations are compared. This way, if we see that RCP4.5 was a more reasonable projection, we can move the crystal ball economics industry to a comparison between RCP4,5 and the COP21 and other government policies.

    I think you’ll see that if a case closer to RCP4.5 becomes the reference, the economic gains from additional emissions reductions are not worth the effort. I have even seen model results which predict faster sea level rise for lower emissions options.

    • Finally some realism?

      Reality has already been diverging from RCP85:

      RCP85 exhibits peak rates of CO2 forcing around 2070.

      Observations, subject to the future, may have already peaked in 2007.

      • TE, i go further back into the asumptions used to create RCP8.5 and other cases. What perked me up was the incredible oil production rates, which aren’t supported by any real numbers. Later, as I dug into the RCPs I realized they also had natural gas and coal discrepancies. The projection just doesn’t make any sense.

        The economic models which attribute X benefit to emissions reductions are based on cut backs from RCP8.5. As you can imagine, these benefits aren’t real if the “BAU” exaggerates emissions and concentrations. If the forcings / climate sensitivity are also diverging then this confirms the whole IPCC AR5 needs to be reworked. I’m more worried about energy shortages from excessive dependence on volatile nations like Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Iraq.

      • Curious George

        A nice graph. I did not know that we could measure the Earth’s energy balance with that precision. Link, please.

  40. richardswarthout

    The two quotes below are from the Harvard paper “Confronting Deep and Persistent Climate Uncertainty”. The two authors are notable scholars in economics and one also has credentials in climate science, and is the lead senior economist at Environmental Defense Fund.

    Do the quotes represent scholarly work expected from these two gentleman, or do they represent yet another reason for Rud to withhold donations from Harvard?

    “The $40 per ton of carbon dioxide externality cost is best viewed as a conservative estimate. Most of the factors that we know are left out would increase the number further. Most of what we don’t know would push the number further still (Wagner and Weitzman, 2015).”

    “Double carbon dioxide concentrations and, consensus climate science has told us for over 35 years, to expect long-run temperatures to rise in expectation by around 3°C.”


  41. David Wojick

    “Most of what we don’t know would push the number further still …” is an astounding claim. Make that an absurd claim.

    The second quote is garbled. If it is historic, reporting what consensus has said, then it is true, but so what? If predictive, telling us what to expect, then it is merely the usual consensus speculation, hence not to be believed.

    EDF econ for sure and Harvard tends to be a silly school.

  42. Looking here:

    There’s a kind of volume, height plus width of the 3 El Ninos. But the volume depends on height which depends on where you draw the base. The most recent one looks skinny as scientists say. It lacked sustain. Possible reasons:
    The IPWP was smaller
    The collapse to the East was weaker
    The IPWP was not as warm

    Here’s a couple of my guesses:

    As it gets warmer, they system approaches an unknown limit. Upward excursions involving near vertical slopes, now collapse sooner than before.

    If the shape of the 3 El Ninos are thought of as probability distribution functions, perhaps some unknown has changed in a warmer world, changing what an average El Nino will look like.

  43. Could someone please tell me what is the global economic benefit or damage of a change in atmospheric CO2-eq concentration (e.g. US$ trillion per 1% change in CO2-eq) – and provide authoritative sources that show the basis of estimate and the assumptions.

    If we don’t know this key paramter that is essential for rational policy analysis, I suggest there is no rational basis to argue for GHG mitigation policies.

    • David Wojick

      The fantasy IAMs can easily generate those numbers. You can roughly estimate them from the SCC fantasy damage per ton numbers. Just guess the number of tons per % increase and multiply. These absurdities are no basis for policy making. There may be no damage at all, or even net good.

      • David. The IAM’s do not define the damage function. They are an input to them. Economists and researchers have to do the research to estimate how much economic benefit or damage a change in global average temperature would cause. I’ve gone one step further back. I want to know the damage function for a change in atmospheric CO2 concentration, because like you, I do not believe that CO2 emissions are a significant threat.

  44. Usenet easter egg GKKjqp09MJz in alt.binaries.
    Interesting tech/science book.

  45. Loved the bad science paper. And yes, the author gets it right. It is clear that Hatemi and Verhulst are sub par at best and (particularly in Hatemi’s case) dicks. They actually make Lewandowski look good in comparison.

  46. One of the blogs I’d regularly check is Isaac Held’s.

    The URL appears to have changed from:


  47. Revisiting whether recent surface temperature trends agree with the CMIP5 ensemble (Lin & Huybers, 2016)

    Ding dong, the pause is dead.

    Following the approach of Fyfe et al. (2013) where inter-model spread is used to assess the distribution of trends, but using the fixed-intercept trend metric, demonstrates that recently observed trends in global-mean temperature are consistent (p > 0.1) with the CMIP5 ensemble for all 15-year intervals of observation-model divergence since 1970.

    And not only dead, it didn’t do anything other than to get at least some climate scientists to quit the AMO nonsense and get with Bali Hai:

    • Curious George

      Now we know how you spend your time. Enjoy.

      • Yes, today I am looking at the images of the mighty July La Nina that was going to restore the pause and restore pre-2000 GMSTs, and I’m looking for any hint the AMO is about to go, burr, negative. It’s a complex, chaotic, non-linear system that is full of surprises, so I have to sleep with one eye open:

  48. “New paper finds low frequency El Nino/La Nina (ENSO) climate cycles lasting centuries”

    Corroborating this paper from 2010:

    • The biggest problem with that paper, IMO, is that the chronology of the entire West Asian LB/IA transition has been well challenged by James, et al.

      The “consensus” dating of the “fall” (if any) of the “Minoan” civilization is about as reliable as the “consensus” opinions regarding “equilibrium climate” effects of CO2.


      • The biggest problem is in getting people to see that the very warm spike in GISP2 around 1200 BC was one of the most severe cold/dry periods through the Holocene for the mid latitudes.

      • Thing is, there’s not really any good evidence of a “collapse” at all between LB and EIA. Of course, that doesn’t mean that a non-collapse transition couldn’t have been driven by those climatic changes.

        But the traditional dates for EIA would also apply to “LB” if James et al. are correct. They propose an overlap of perhaps a couple centuries, relative to the “consensus” chronology.

        Of course, Finkelstein (etc.) is solidly part of the “consensus”, the way that Trenberth, for instance, is part of the Klimate Konsensus.

        OTOH, the whole Middle East has multiple problems synchronizing carbon-14 dating with 20th century chronological myths, complicated by the issue of multiple answers for some time periods.

      • Grimspound is one of the most famous sites in upland dartmoor in southern England.


        Settlement there changed considerably as the climate changed for the worse around 1200BC

        The ruins are very impressive and can be seen to this day


      • Settlement there changed considerably as the climate changed for the worse around 1200BC

        How do they know it was then? I couldn’t find any references to carbon 14 dating for Grimspound, and most of the chronology appears to be based on early 20th century tradition.

        Anyway, AFAIK artifactual cross-dating between England and the Eastern Mediterranean is tenuous, and highly dependent on third-hand links. So even if they have the dates right for Grimspound, that doesn’t say anything (much) about Middle-Eastern chronologies.

      • Ak

        Dartmoor is one of the most studied upland areas in the world as it has numerous bronze age and medieval artefacts. There are many books, papers and a dartmoor study centre in exter, ironically in the same building as the Met office archives.

        To this day evidence can be seen at places such as hound tor of the effects of the MWP where farmsteads were established at heights not possible today. Hound tor of course is more famous as he site of Holmes’ adventure in ‘hound of the baskervilles’


      • @Tonyb…

        Dartmoor is one of the most studied upland areas in the world as it has numerous bronze age and medieval artefacts.

        Egypt is one of the most studied areas of the world at all, and James et al. are suggesting that its chronology is all messed up.

        For that matter, ironically, at least one reference is dating Dartmoor’s bronze age to about the same as James et al. would date the LBA (including Sub-Mycenaean) in the East Mediterranean.

        They run it a couple centuries into what is clearly Iron Age in the Aegean and Middle East, but it actually gives a better timing for cultural diffusion than the traditional chronology. 1-2 centuries as opposed to 4-5.

        There are certainly some issues with James’ et al. chronology, especially for the MBA. As Tsonis et al. point out, there is very good evidence for a high date for the eruption of Kallístē. 1628 or so.

        OTOH, there is very good evidence that, contra Tsonis et al., the destruction layer in the Minoan palaces (LM1A) can be roughly synchronized with that eruption. This presents a problem, as Colin Renfrew pointed out in the forward to James et al.

        Whatever the solution, any effort to explain the evolution of the “Minoan” civilization with reference to a prolonged drought from ~1450BCE to ~1200BCE needs to recognize the tentative nature of both ends of the archaeological chronology it’s working with.

      • AK


        I think ‘tentative’ is a very good word that together with ‘unproven’ ‘possible’ and ‘unlnown’ could be usefully used in many fields, including climate science


      • “Thing is, there’s not really any good evidence of a “collapse” at all between LB and EIA.”

        The end of the Minoan civilisation is contemporary with the Langgut et al collapse that I linked to above.

      • The end of the Minoan civilisation is contemporary with the Langgut et al collapse that I linked to above.

        There’s no evidence of that.

      • Curious George

        Paleoclimatology requires a lot of imagination: A drought brought the end of Minoan civilization, whose ruins were subsequently covered with volcanic ashes from an eruption which happened three hundred years earlier.

        Is it good enough for a tenure?

      • A drought brought the end of Minoan civilization, whose ruins were subsequently covered with volcanic ashes from an eruption which happened three hundred years earlier.

        The “Minoan civilization”, sensu strictu, ended sometime around 1600BCE, after the destructive eruption of Kallístē (in 1628BCE).

        That end was marked by the burning (almost certainly deliberate) of most of the palace complexes, some destruction at Knossos, which was repaired, introduction of a number of new pottery styles, and the replacement of the Linear ‘A’ script, whose language is unknown, by Linear ‘B’, which appears to encode a language reminiscent of an early form of Arcadian Greek, or perhaps a common ancestor of Greek and Latin.

        It’s marked in pottery by the transition from LMIa to LMIb, or perhaps it occurred during the LMIb phase.

        The subsequent phases should probably, IMO, be called Minoan Mycenaean, and would appear to represent the takeover by an elite from the Peloponnese. (Note that Linear ‘B’ appears to have existed in the Peloponnese, especially Arcadia, at the same time that Linear ‘A’ was in use on Crete.)

        The chronology of this culture, and the destruction/replacement layers until the Classical era, remain sub judice.

      • Curious George

        AK, thanks – I thought that Minoan and Mycean were the same. Never too late to learn. Then the Langgut collapse destroyed Linear A people and Linear B took over. Tentative, as you say. Now I surely deserve a tenure.

      • “The “Minoan civilization”, sensu strictu, ended sometime around 1600BCE, after the destructive eruption of Kallístē (in 1628BCE).”

        The civilisation began to decline around 1450 BC, continuing to around 1200 BC under Mycenaean occupation. Evidently the Thera eruption did not cause their demise.

      • @Curious George
        No, they are some 250 years apart. Linear B is from around 1450 BC, and the Langgut collapse is around 1200 BC.

      • The civilisation began to decline around 1450 BC, continuing to around 1200 BC under Mycenaean occupation.


        Those dates have been superseded.

        The “decline” you’re referring to is traditionally the events involved in LMIb, which have been redated to around 1600BCE. The dates for the subsequent sequence are fluid, since the firm re-dating of the destructive eruption of Kallístē to ~1628BCE.

        For instance, in the sequence linked above.1450 is tentatively given as the date for transition from LMII to LMIIIa. There’s no evidence of any sudden “decline” at that transition, or any other after LMIb.

        Mycenaean “occupation” began in LMIb, around 1600.

        (Wiki tries to tie the Mycenaean influence to the beginning of LMII, which it dates to around 1450BCE. But since this transition followed almost immediately on the destruction which even Wiki attributes to “towards the end of LMIB,” this date is clearly incorrect. Wiki gives no “authority” for its date.)

      • Evidently the Thera eruption did not cause their demise.

        What decline?

        The eruption of Kallístē (only called “Thera”=”fear” after its self-destruction, and if you want to be nit-picky, its current name is “Santorini”) is firmly associated with LMIb. (Likely the beginning, the transition from LMIa.) The deliberate burning of most of the palace centers is associated with mid-(or perhaps late-)LMIb.

        Unless you want to suppose that a single pottery phase lasted from ~1620BCE to ~1450BCE, which is ludicrous, the eruption and “decline” are both centuries too early for Tsonis’ climatic observations.

        Tsonis’ 1450BCE date is clearly intended to refer to the events of LMIb.

        No, they are some 250 years apart. Linear B is from around 1450 BC, and the Langgut collapse is around 1200 BC.

        Linear ‘B’ is from ~1600.

        The collapse Langgut et al., especially Finkelstein, refer to has traditionally been dated to around 1200BCE, but per James et al. should probably be lowered to perhaps 1050BCE.

        There is no good evidence for the widespread “collapse” referred to in that paper.

      • “What decline?”

        Demise not decline, as that is what you have quoted.

        “The collapse Langgut et al., especially Finkelstein, refer to has traditionally been dated to around 1200BCE, but per James et al. should probably be lowered to perhaps 1050BCE.”

        I doubt that there was much occurring there after 1125 BC. The likely scenario is a ‘super’ solar minima triplet, from around 1360 BC, 1250 BC, and 1140 BC.

      • Demise not decline, as that is what you have quoted.

        OK, if you want to be picky.

        Traditionally, the destruction of a number of palaces, such as occurred in LMIb, is considered a “demise”, but Tsonis et al. treat it as the beginning of a “decline”.

        Given that the the palace at Knossos was repaired and the subsequent phases showed great continuity with the previous LMIa, I would call it simply an elite replacement, which cannot necessarily be considered either.

        It’s important to remember that archaeologists, especially in and before the early 20th century, measured prosperity and “declines” by production of elite pottery. This isn’t necessarily consistent with more lifestyle-type measures regarding the general population.

        In addition, as James et al. point out, production measures depend on both the volume of pottery dug up, and the supposed length of the period.

        Starting with Evans etc., there was a custom of arbitrarily assigning each pottery phase a time of 50 years, which is unrealistic, and often gives potentially erroneous measures of productivity.

        OTOH, extending the period from LMIb through LMIIIc to ~1600BCE to ~950BCE would certainly offer room for a long period of very low productivity.

        I doubt that there was much occurring there after 1125 BC. The likely scenario is a ‘super’ solar minima triplet, from around 1360 BC, 1250 BC, and 1140 BC.

        IIRC there’s little evidence of any non-occupation at most sites in the eastern Mediterranean. There’s a transition straight from LB(III) to Early Iron with no sign of intervening abandonment.

        Given the different styles of both LB and EIA found in transitions at different points, this is best explained (IMO) by a political change accompanied by a change of preferred elite pottery from LB styles to IA (Geometric). There is no reason so suppose this change took place simultaneously across various sites.

        Rather than a “dark age” as suggested here, following James et al. (roughly) I would suppose that the entire sub-Mycenean/sub-Minoan sequences, which IIRC are found only in grave goods, were carried on as a traditional burial custom during the geometric period. Thus, the “decline” would be both a couple centuries later, and only in burial customs. The elite pottery used for living would have been geometric.

      • Yet Langgut is based upon pollen rather than pottery.

      • Yet Langgut is based upon pollen rather than pottery.

        Not exactly.

        The new research, as well as the later synthesis in Langgut, Finkelstein, Litt, Neumann, and Stein (2015) Vegetation and Climate Changes during the Bronze and Iron Ages (~3600–600 BCE) in the Southern Levant Based on Palynological Records, are based on pollen, and carbon 14.

        I’m not questioning any of that. My point is regarding the correlation with cultures and pottery phases, based on traditional dates and led by Israel Finkelstein.

        I just don’t believe the issues identified by James et al. have been considered in these correlations, because I’ve never seen any sign that Israel Finkelstein has given them any notice.

        You’ll note that the other two authors of the paper you linked, Dafna Langgut and Thomas Litt, are much more focused on paleoclimate and botany.

        I’d certainly be interested in correlations or studies that do take notice of the issues James et al. have raised. Unfortunately, IMO, they seem stuck on trying to lower the date for the self-destruction of Kallístē (to considerably later than the obsolete ~1450BCE date), rather than accepting that their primary issues WRT the LB/EIA transition are separate from the issue of the 1628BCE date discussed by Renfrew (among others).

        But both of those issues work to totally disqualify the traditional dates for, at least, the entire Late Bronze, in the Peloponnese, Cyclades, Crete, Anatolia, the Middle East, and Egypt. The question is: what new correlations can be established with this new climate information and the unsettled dates for pottery and building phases?

  49. The hiatus made fools of a lot of really smart people, and here are some more reasons why.

  50. Putting lipstick on a clugger, Bill outs Hillary tonight as a climate alarmism maker…

  51. The battle between the blue cities and the rest of the country continues and the Left’s continued use of government scientists to make up the facts they need to keep pushing the hoax and scare tactics of global warming while declaring jihad on sceptics who they believe are too blinded by the 3-Gs — Guns’n Gays’n God — to go along with their Eurocommunist Utopia.

  52. Curious George

    They are too conservative. My study shows it will happen by 2018.

  53. Sunspots take a dive:

    • All you need now is a good old-fashioned civilization ending volcanic eruption and America will be great again:

      Reconstructions of historical climate changes indicate that surface air temperatures decreased over the preindustrial last millennium. Conflicting explanations have been proposed for the cause of the transition from the Medieval Climate Anomaly (MCA) in the early part of the last millennium to the Little Ice Age (LIA) near its end. The possible causes include volcanic emissions, total solar irradiance (TSI) variations, greenhouse gas concentration fluctuations, and orbital forcing variations. In the present paper, it is demonstrated that all of these climate forcings contribute significantly to simulated surface air temperature (SAT) and sea ice concentration changes over this period. On the other hand, simulated ocean heat content appears to respond significantly only to volcanic and TSI variations.

  54. The politics of climate change science seems pretty clear — the Democrat plan is to put the US energy industry out of business: we don’t need no stinkin’ Keystone Pipeline. We don’t need more stinkin’ jobs either. Everything is just fine and going according to plan…

  55. The real change-makers are hackers who may be in possession of 30,000 missing and possibly super-embarrassing Clinton and DNC emails that have great blackmail value…

  56. The original paper ended global warming, well, not really, but it was a Politics Etc. game changer, well, not really, but here’s more on something that is actually interesting:

    The energy balance portrayed here features a small hemispheric imbalance with slightly more energy being absorbed by the Southern hemisphere. This yields a net transport of heat towards the NH composing of a northward cross-equatorial heat transport by the oceans and a southward heat flow in the atmosphere. The turbulent fluxes and hemispheric precipitation balance to about 3 Wm−2 with slightly larger total accumulation occurring in the NH. …

  57. David Appell,

    I’ll answered a whole succession of your questions. The reason I am not answering your last question is that you keep asking questions that are clearly distractions from answering my question. You have continually avoided answering my question. Until you do answer mine, properly, I will not be answering yours

    why won’t you admit you have no valid answer to my questions?

    Is that honestly so difficult for you?

    If so, why?